How To Be Heard at Public Hearing on Tariff Hikes of $300 Billion of Chinese Goods

 In China, customs, customs clearance, Global Business, Global Economy, importers, importing, Imports

US China Trade WarDon’t like the tariff hikes on imports from China? Do these tariffs hurt your business? Here comes your chance to be heard by the Office of the United States Trade Representative on the topic.

Things are moving forward for basically all Chinese goods imported in the United States to carry a 25% tariff. While such tariff increases have already been placed on approximately $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, shippers do have a chance to appear at a public hearing on the planned tariffs hike of the approximately $300 billion worth of remaining Chinese goods.

On May 10th, 2019, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the following in a statement release:

“Earlier today, at the direction of the President, the United States increased the level of tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The President also ordered us to begin the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China, which are valued at approximately $300 billion.”

The process for public notice and comment will be published shortly in the Federal Register. The details will be on the USTR website on Monday as we begin the process prior to a final decision on these tariffs.

The notice for public comment has now been published. A public hearing for the next Section 301 action of increasing tariffs on approximately $300 billion worth of Chinese goods is scheduled for June 17th, 2019.

The hearing will be held in the main hearing room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW Washington DC 20436 at 9:30 a.m.

Despite President Trump’s tweets that make it sound like the Chinese government pays the tariffs on Chinese goods, shippers know the importer of record actually pays the tariffs. That means many importers will likely want to be heard about the effect of these tariffs on their businesses.

Where China actually pays for these tariffs is in economic impact through U.S. businesses sourcing elsewhere than China (which is something Universal Cargo can help you with) because of the increased cost of importing from China. Of course, there are U.S. importers who may not be able to just move their sourcing away from China and want their voices heard.

When it comes to the public hearing, there are two options you have to be heard. You can request to appear and give testimony or you can submit written comments. The following covers how to do both.

How To Request to Appear and Give Testimony at Section 301 Action Hearing

People can’t just show up to the hearing and start speaking about why these tariffs should not happen. If you want to give testimony, here’s what you need to do to gain consideration:

File a request to appear and a summary of expected testimony at the public by June 10th, 2019.

A summary of testimony is required in submissions to be considered to appear at the hearing. Testimony at the hearing is limited to five minutes, after which Section 301 Committee members may choose to ask questions.

Requests to appear must be in English and sent electronically via www.regulations.gov. Here’s how USTR instructs to submit:

Enter docket number USTR-2019-0004 on the home page and click “search.”

The site will provide a search-results page listing all documents associated with this docket. Find a reference to this notice and click on the link titled ‘comment now!’.

In the ‘comment’ field, include the name, address, email address, and telephone number of the person presenting the testimony.

Attach a summary of the proposed testimony, and a pre-hearing submission if provided, by using the ‘upload file’ field. The file name should include both the name of the person who will be presenting testimony and the entity they represent.

In addition, submit a request to appear and a PDF of the summary of proposed testimony by email to 301investigation@ustr.eop.gov.

In the subject line of the email, include the name of the person who will be presenting testimony, followed by “request to appear.” Make sure to include the name, address, email address, and telephone number of the person presenting testimony in the body of the email message.

How To Submit Written Comments to Section 301 Action Hearing

You don’t have to actually testify at the hearing to have your voice heard. U.S. shippers (and others) may submit written comments right up to the day of hearings (June 17, 2019).

Here’s how the USTR says you may submit written comments:

All submissions must be in English and sent electronically via www.regulations.gov.

Enter docket number USTR-2019-0004 on the home page and click “search.”

The site will provide a search-results page listing all documents associated with this docket. Find a reference to this notice and click on the link titled “comment now!”

There is a “comment” field and an “upload file” field. Type “see attached” in the comment field and upload a Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file containing your comments.

File names should reflect the name of the person or entity submitting the comments.

Do not attach separate cover letters to electronic submissions; rather, include any information that might appear in a cover letter in the comments themselves. Similarly, to the extent possible, include any exhibits, annexes, or other attachments in the same file as the comment itself, rather than submitting them as separate files.

For any comments submitted electronically that contain business confidential information, the file name of the business confidential version should begin with the characters ‘BC’. Any page containing business confidential information must be clearly marked “BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL” on the top of that page and the submission should clearly indicate, via brackets, highlighting, or other means, the specific information that is business confidential. If you request business confidential treatment, you must certify in writing that disclosure of the information would endanger trade secrets or profitability, and that the information would not customarily be released to the public.

Filers of submissions containing business confidential information also must submit a public version of their comments. The file name of the public version should begin with the character “P”.

The “BC” and “P” should be followed by the name of the person or entity submitting the comments or rebuttal comments. If these procedures are not sufficient to protect business confidential information or otherwise protect business interests, please contact the USTR Tech Transfer Section 301 line at (202) 395–5725 to discuss whether alternative arrangements are possible.

How To Submit Post-Hearing Rebuttal Comments

For those who want to submit rebuttals to testimony and comments of the hearing may do so.

The due date for submissions of post-hearing rebuttal comments is seven days after the last day of the public hearing.

Follow the same instructions for submitting written comments to submit post-hearing rebuttal comments.

Click Here for Free Freight Rate Pricing

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

President-elect Trump w/ US & Chinese flagsNAFTA logo