AFT Calls on USTR to Provide Transparency, Open Up Phase 2 of 4-Year Review

WASHINGTON, D.C., (August 24, 2022) — Americans for Free Trade (AFT) spokesperson Jonathan Gold today released the following statement calling for the immediate publication of comments filed with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) regarding the extension of Section 301 China tariffs and to open up Phase 2 of their 4-year “Review of Necessity” process.

“We are calling on USTR to immediately make publicly available any comments that have been filed requesting a continuation of the Section 301 China tariffs. The necessity review process required by statute makes clear that the tariffs terminate on their four-year anniversary absent a request from domestic industry that they be continued. While comments have clearly been filed, it is not clear whether they include a continuation request for both Lists 1 and 2 (and by extension, Lists 3 and 4a). With the four-year anniversaries of the tariffs now past, the tariffs should not be allowed to remain in place if USTR does not provide transparency regarding this aspect of the process.

Further, if USTR has received a continuation request, it should immediately announce a process for stakeholders impacted by the tariffs to respond to the continuation requests – including an opportunity to detail how the tariffs have harmed them. American businesses, consumers, workers, and families have already paid over $150 billion in tariffs since the trade war began. This process should include a public hearing.

We call on Ambassador Tai to take action now to release any continuation requests received by USTR and if so, to open Phase 2 of the 4-year review process to allow American companies and industries to provide their input on the tariffs’ harmful impact.”