Bulletin: U.S. Court of International Trade Decides Section 301 Litigation Case

Posted on Mar 20

Article by: Rick Walker, Vice President, LCB, CCS

The U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) issued a much-anticipated decision on Friday afternoon, putting an end to a long period of speculation by upholding the United States Trade Representative (USTR)’s imposition of tariff actions imposed with List 3 and List 4A Section 301 duties. For those of us who have been following this case, including the roughly 3,600 plaintiffs who had joined in the litigation against the USTR, the case is over. You may recall that in an April 2022 decision, the CIT found that although the USTR did have the authority to impose the tariffs on Chinese-origin goods, they had failed to respond adequately to public comments during the notice and comment rulemaking process.

They remanded the case to the USTR for further reconsideration and explanation regarding their rationale for imposing the List 3 and 4A tariffs, as well as the reasons for placing or removing products from the lists.

In the decision just announced Friday, March 17, 2023, the CIT determined that the USTR had adequately responded to its remand order from that April 2022 decision, which held that over $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese-origin imports were valid. In the end, the court accepted the USTR’s explanation as adequate and sustained the Final List 3 and Final List 4 duties.

Simply put, the plaintiffs lost, and the USTR prevailed, which means that there will be no refund of duties collected for goods under List 3 and List 4A.

There were a lot of legal wranglings that went on during this litigation and much of that is explained in the written judgement, which you can find here.

If you are reading this and your company had joined in the litigation, you may want to confer with your legal counsel for any additional information.

Please contact your V. Alexander account team, or you may also contact our Trade Compliance team at tradeinsights@valexander.com with any questions.