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Alerts and Updates

U.S. Trade Representative Requests Comments on Section 301 Investigation into the Enforcement of WTO Rights in U.S.-EU Airbus Dispute

December 17, 2019

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The USTR requests comments with respect to whether products listed in Annex I should be removed from the list or remain on the list.

As a follow up to our Alert on October 4, 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is reviewing the Section 301 investigation involving the enforcement of U.S. World Trade Organization (WTO) rights in the U.S.-EU Airbus dispute and has requested comments by January 13, 2020. In a December 12, 2019, Federal Register notice, the USTR requested comments on two lists of products contained in Annexes I and II to the notice.

Of particular note, Annex I includes “[n]ew airplanes and other new aircraft… (other than military airplanes or other military aircraft), of an unladen weight exceeding 30,000 kg” under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) 8802.40.00. Annex II includes “[n]ew aircraft, passenger transports, non-military, of an unladen weight exceeding 15,000 kg but less than or equal to 30,000 kg” under HTSUS 8802.40.0040 and “[n]ew aircraft, cargo transports, non-military, of an unladen weight exceeding 15,000 kg but less than or equal to 30,000 kg” under HTSUS 8802.40.0060.

The annexes to the notice identify the eight-digit HTSUS subheading and the product description of the products covered. Annex I contains an extensive list of products currently subject to additional duties. The USTR requests comments with respect to whether products listed in Annex I should be removed from the list or remain on the list and whether the rate of additional duty on specific products should be increased up to a level of 100 percent.

Annex II contains a list of products, originally published in the April 2019 and July 2019 notices in the Section 301 investigation, under consideration for the imposition of additional ad valorem duties of up to 100 percent. The USTR seeks comments on whether additional duties should be imposed on specific products listed in Annex II and on the rate of additional duty to be applied to products drawn from Annex II.

Annex II includes dozens of products, which include, but are not limited to, frozen hams, trout, cheeses, lobster, oysters, pasta, ammonium nitrate, carpets, glassware, table knives, binoculars, wall clocks, sweaters, coffee, Irish and Scotch whiskies, waffles and wafers, and olives.

Further, the USTR invites interested persons to comment on:

  1. “Whether maintaining or imposing additional duties on a specific product of one or more specific EU member states would be appropriate to enforce U.S. WTO rights or to obtain the elimination of the EU’s WTO-inconsistent measures, and/or would be likely to result in the EU implementing the DSB recommendations in the Large Civil Aircraft dispute or in achieving a mutually satisfactory solution” and
  2. “Whether maintaining or imposing additional duties on specific products of one or more specific EU member states would cause disproportionate economic harm to U.S. interests, including small or medium-size businesses and consumers.”

We urge careful study of the extensive product lists in the annexes. It is also urged that you consult with customs officials, legal advisors, customs brokers, etc., regarding the scope of the proposed additional duties and potential measures to mitigate the effect of the tariffs prior to the effective date.

For More Information

If you would like further information about this Alert, please contact Brian S. Goldstein, Keith J. Feigenbaum, any of the attorneys in our International Practice Group, attorneys in our Transportation and Automotive Industry Group or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.