Overview

Trade tensions between the United States and China reached their boiling point on August 18, 2017, when the US Trade Representative (USTR) initiated an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 into whether China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are “unreasonable or discriminatory” or “burden or restrict US commerce.” Since USTR’s affirmative finding, tensions between the two countries have continued to escalate, with each side using tariffs and other policy instruments in their trade fight.

Here we provide our analyses of the events leading up to this point and anticipate what might happen next.

United States

China

August 18, 2017: Trump Administration Initiates Section 301 Investigation of China’s Acts, Policies and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property and Innovation

 

 

March 8, 2018: US Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Imports

 

 

March 22, 2018: USTR Releases Extensive Report, “Investigation Into China’s Acts Policies and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation Under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974”

 

 

April 3, 2018: US Announces List of Products Imported from China That Will Be Subject to Additional 25 Percent Tariff

April 3, 2018: China Immediately Reciprocates and Declares Intention to Impose More New Tariffs Worth $50 Billion on 106 US Products

 

June 15, 2018: US Announces List of Products Imported From China That Will Be Subject to Additional Tariffs

June 15, 2018: China Responds and Announces Its Own List of US Products Subject to Tariffs

 

July 10, 2018: US Announces Additional Section 301 Tariffs After China’s Retaliatory Moves on US Products

 

 

 

August 3, 2018: China Responds to US Tariff Increase with New Tariffs

 

August 23, 2018: US Imposes 25 Percent Tariff on Second List of Chinese Imports

 

 

September 17, 2018: USTR Announces New Section 301 Tariffs Targeting $200 Billion Worth of Chinese Imports

 

 

February 24, 2019: US Delays Increase in Section 301 Tariff Rate on $200 Billion Chinese Imports

 

 

May 5, 2019: US Tariff Increase on $200 Billion Chinese Imports Kicks In Today

 

 

 

May 13, 2019: China Announces Upcoming Launch of Product Exclusion Process Related to Section 301 Countermeasures

 

May 13, 2019: US Prepares to Hit All Chinese Imports with Tariffs

May 13, 2019: China to Increase Tariffs Applicable to Three of Four Lists on China’s Tranche III

 

May 22, 2019: US Government Restricts Certain Exports to Huawei and Affiliates by Adding It to Entity List While Permitting Temporary Narrow Exceptions

 

 

May 28, 2019: US Proposes New Rule to Address “Currency Undervaluation” as Potential Subsidy

 

 

 

May 31, 2019: China to Establish an “Unreliable Entities” List

 

August 15, 2019: USTR Announces Additional Tariffs on $300 Billion of Chinese Imports and Excludes Products Subject to Prior Section 301 Tariffs

 

 

August 23, 2019: USTR Announces that 25% Tariffs on $250 Billion Worth of Chinese Imports Will Be Raised to 30%, While the 10% Tariffs on $300 Billion Worth of Chinese Imports Will be Increased to 15%

August 23, 2019: China Announces Additional Tariffs of 5% or 10% on US Imports Valued at Approximately $75 Billion