Trump Making America Great Again
or Creating a Trade War?

March 22, 2018

On March 22, 2018 Trump announced his decisions to take action against what he terms China’s unfair trade practices. These are outlined in the 251 page “USTR Section 301 Investigation of China’s Acts, Policies and Practices related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property and Innovation.” Section 301 investigations are a key enforcement tool allowing the U.S. to address a wide variety of unfair acts, policies and practices of U.S. trading partners.

Section 301 Investigation – USTR investigation yielded that China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable, unjustifiable, or discriminatory and restrict or burden the U.S. commerce. 

Section 301 Investigation response

  • The President has instructed the Trade Representative to pursue dispute settlement in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to address China’s discriminatory technology licensing practices.
  • USTR will propose additional tariffs of 25% on certain products with an annual trade value commensurate with the harm caused the U.S. economy resulting from China’s unfair trade policies. The proposed product list subject to tariffs will include aerospace, information and communication technology, and machinery.
  • Investment restrictions – The President has directed the Secretary of the Treasury to address concerns about investment in the United States directed or facilitated by China in industries or technologies deemed important to the United States.

Process for Tariff Action

USTR will publish a proposed list of products and any tariff increases within 15 days of today’s announcement (Friday, April 6). Notice will be published in the Federal Register, and the public will have 30 days from publication to comment. Additionally, notice will be given for a public hearing date. After review and analysis, the Trade Representative will publish a final list of products and tariff increases. It is anticipated that this will affect 1,300 tariff lines

For further reading see:

For further information or questions about this and other customs issues, contact George R. Tuttle, III at or at (415) 986-8780.


George R. Tuttle, III is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.

Copyright © 2018 by Tuttle Law Offices.  

All rights reserved.  Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable.  However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our offices or by others, we do not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information and are not responsible for any errors, omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of such information.


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