On March 17, the Court of International Trade upheld the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese-origin goods identified on List 3 and List 4A. The plaintiffs in In re Section 301 Cases previously sought to vacate the tariffs, arguing the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
The case started two-and-a-half years ago when a group of importers challenged the USTR’s statutory authority to issue a subset of tariffs covering $300 billion of Chinese goods, known as List 3 and List 4A. In April 2022, the court rejected the plaintiffs’ challenge to the USTR’s statutory authority. Nevertheless, the court remanded the matter to the USTR to comply with the APA’s requirement that the agency provide a reasoned response to the comments submitted during the rulemaking processes.
On remand, the USTR provided additional explanation for the List 3 and List 4A tariffs. The plaintiffs contended the USTR’s explanation still failed to satisfy the APA. In the most recent decision, the Court of International Trade rejected this argument and upheld the tariffs.