The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) issued an update on its Section 301 investigation into Chinese technology and intellectual property practices on June 15, 2018. This update contains a list of products that will be subject to additional 25% tariffs on July 6, 2018 as well as a second proposed list of products targeted for future 25% tariffs.
The announcement that the United States would impose Section 301 tariffs marked a change of course in US-China trade relations. As the deadline for public comments on USTR’s April tariff list approached, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that the United States would postpone tariffs while finalizing a bilateral agreement to reduce the US-China trade deficit and promote bilateral commerce and intellectual property protection. A week later, however, the White House stated that Section 301 tariffs would be announced by June 15 and would go into effect soon after. Following this announcement, US-China trade talks have deteriorated, China has retaliated for the Section 301 tariff plan, and both countries have made significant additional retaliation threats against one another.
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