Possible Court Challenge to Section 301 Duties

A coalition of importers has just filed a Court challenge to the USTR’s imposition of Section 301 duties on certain imports from China under lists 3 and 4.  These duties were imposed as part of a process purportedly intended to address intellectual property abuses by China.  Specifically, this coalition has claimed that these duties were imposed contrary to law and ignored the statutory deadlines in Section 301.

Further, the coalition has argued that these duties were not imposed in response to the intellectual property violations alleged in the initiation notice, but rather were filed in response to the retaliatory tariffs enacted by China.  Accordingly, the coalition argues, such tariffs were void from the initial imposition.

Due to the nature of U.S. law, if the challenge is upheld, retroactive relief will only be available to those parties that have filed a court challenge.  Fortunately, it is not too late for you to file your own action and obtain relief if the coalition’s challenge is successful.  Aggrieved importers do not have a lot of time.  Under the theory being pursued, the underlying challenge is to the President’s Executive Order 13849.  Under the law, any challenge must be filed within 2 years of the date of the Executive Order.   This Order was published in the Federal Register of September 21, 2018.  This means that a Court case should be filed by Friday, the 18th in order to avoid any problems with standing.

The pending Section 301 case could result in a large windfall – but you have to act now by joining the lawsuit. If you would like to join or have general questions, reach out to us at info@diaztradelaw.com or 305-456-3830.