Dear Valued Customer,

On Sept. 10 lawyers at Akin Gump filed a lawsuit at the Court of International Trade on behalf of vinyl tile supplier HMTX Industries and their subsidiaries to challenge the extension of tariffs to cover the third list of goods from China subject to Section 301.

The plaintiffs complain that the USTR overstepped the Section 301 statute when it made more goods subject to the tariffs 12 months after the beginning of the investigation. Section 304 of the Trade Act requires “USTR to determine what action to take, if any, within 12 months after initiation of that investigation, but USTR failed to issue List 3 (or subsequent List 4) within that window.” The complaint asked the court to vacate the List 3 rulemaking and order the tariffs refunded with interest.

Trade attorneys ST&R issued a Trade Advisory on September 14, 2020 stating that “A recently filed lawsuit could result in refunds of all Section 301 tariffs levied to date on List 3 and List 4A goods from China, regardless of whether or not a timely protest was filed. However, importers must file their own independent claims to preserve their potential refunds by Friday, Sept. 18.”

“If this litigation is successful, refunds of all Section 301 tariffs paid on List 3 and List 4A goods, regardless of whether an exclusion was previously available or filed, would become available,” ST&R said. “Importers now have a very narrow window of opportunity to join this challenge and preserve their rights to such refunds by filing their own timely complaint.”

If you have imported a large volume of goods from China and paid significant amounts of Section 301 Lists 3 and 4A tariffs, you may want to pursue assistance from a trade attorney this week. If you have any questions or need referrals to trade attorneys, please contact your nearest JJB representative.

Thank you for your time and attention. If you have any questions, please contact your nearest JJB representative.

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