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U.S. Trade Representative


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Robert Lighthizer

US Trade Representative

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Robert Lighthizer Oct 25th, 2018

We should build on what has worked in NAFTA, but change and improve what has not.  If renegotiations result in a fairer deal for American workers, there is value in making the transition to a modernized NAFTA as seamless as possible. I hope the negotiations and the final agreement will reflect the same existing structure as the current agreement.

Robert Lighthizer Oct 25th, 2018

Pursuant to sections 301(b) and (c) and the March 22nd Memorandum from the President, the Trade Representative proposes that appropriate action would include increased tariffs on certain goods of Chinese origin. In particular, the proposed action is an additional duty of 25 percent on a list of products of Chinese origin.  The value of the list is approximately $50 billion in terms of estimated annual trade value for calendar year 2018. This level is appropriate both in light of the estimated harm to the U.S. economy, and to obtain elimination of China’s harmful acts, policies, and practices. The list was compiled based on extensive interagency analysis and a thorough examination of comments and testimony from interested parties.  It generally focuses on products from industrial sectors that contribute to or benefit from the “Made in China 2025” industrial policy, which include industries such as aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials, and automobiles.  The list does not include goods commonly purchased by American consumers such as cellular telephones or televisions.

The list of products consists of two sets of U.S tariff lines.  The first set contains 818 lines of the original 1,333 lines that were included on the proposed list published on April 6.  These lines cover approximately $34 billion worth of imports from China.  USTR has determined to impose an additional duty of 25 percent on these 818 product lines after having sought and received views from the public and advice from the appropriate trade advisory committees.  Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect the additional duties on July 6, 2018.

The second set contains 284 proposed tariff lines identified by the interagency Section 301 Committee as benefiting from Chinese industrial policies, including the “Made in China 2025” industrial policy.  These 284 lines, which cover approximately $16 billion worth of imports from China, will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process, including a public hearing.  After completion of this process, USTR will issue a final determination on the products from this list that would be subject to the additional duties.

Robert Lighthizer Oct 25th, 2018

China uses foreign ownership restrictions, including joint venture requirements, equity limitations, and other investment restrictions, to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies to Chinese entities. China also uses administrative review and licensing procedures to require or pressure technology transfer, which, inter alia, undermines the value of U.S. investments and technology and weakens the global competitiveness of U.S. firms.

China imposes substantial restrictions on, and intervenes in, U.S. firms’ investments and activities, including through restrictions on technology licensing terms. These restrictions deprive U.S. technology owners of the ability to bargain and set market-based terms for technology transfer. As a result, U.S. companies seeking to license technologies must do so on terms that unfairly favor Chinese recipients.

China directs and facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, U.S. companies and assets by Chinese companies to obtain cutting-edge technologies and intellectual property and to generate large-scale technology transfer in industries deemed important by Chinese government industrial plans. 

China conducts and supports unauthorized intrusions into, and theft from, the computer networks of U.S. companies. These actions provide the Chinese government with unauthorized access to intellectual property, trade secrets, or confidential business information, including technical data, negotiating positions, and sensitive and proprietary internal business communications, and they also support China’s strategic development goals, including its science and technology advancement, military modernization, and economic development.

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