Notice of Modification of Section 301 Action: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation, 45821-45823 [2019-18838]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices The earliest this transaction may be consummated is September 15, 2019.1 If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the effectiveness of the exemption. Petitions for stay must be filed no later than September 6, 2019 (at least seven days before the exemption becomes effective). All pleadings, referring to Docket No. FD 36321, must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board either via e-filing or in writing addressed to 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423–0001. In addition, a copy of each pleading must be served on ALE’s representatives: Eric M. Hocky, Clark Hill, PLC, One Commerce Square, 2005 Market Street, Suite 1000, Philadelphia, PA 19103, and Sloane S. Carlough, Clark Hill PLC, 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1300 South, Washington, DC 20004. According to ALE, this action is excluded from environmental review under 49 CFR 1105.6(c) and from historic preservation reporting requirements under 49 CFR 1105.8(b). Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov. Decided: August 27, 2019. By the Board, Allison C. Davis, Director, Office of Proceedings. Jeffrey Herzig, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2019–18808 Filed 8–29–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. FD 36320] Mississippi Export Railroad Company—Continuance in Control Exemption—Alabama Export Railroad, Inc. jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Mississippi Export Railroad Company (MSE), a Class III rail carrier, has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(2) to continue in control of Alabama Export Railroad, Inc. (ALE), 1 The verified notices in Docket Nos. FD 36320 and FD 36321 were initially submitted on August 12, 2019. On August 16, 2019, MSE filed a supplement in Docket No. FD 36320 certifying that MSE and ALE are the only two railroads in the corporate family. In light of that supplement, August 16, 2019, is deemed the filing date of the verified notice for continuance in control in Docket No. FD 36320, and that exemption’s effective date is September 15, 2019. Because this lease and operation exemption requires the concurrent authority for MSE to continue in control of ALE, the effective date of this exemption likewise will be September 15, 2019. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 upon ALE’s becoming a Class III rail carrier. ALE is a newly formed noncarrier entity that is wholly owned by MSE.1 This transaction is related to a concurrently filed verified notice of exemption in Alabama Export Railroad—Lease & Operation Exemption—Illinois Central Railroad, Docket No. FD 36321. In that proceeding, ALE seeks an exemption under 49 CFR 1150.31 to lease and operate approximately 12.1 miles of railroad line in downtown Mobile, Ala., owned by IC. The rail line extends between Belt Junction at milepost 6.6 and the State Docks at milepost 0.0 on IC’s Beaumont Subdivision, and between Belt Junction at milepost 6.6 and Frascati Junction at milepost 1.1 on IC’s Frascati Lead (the Line). The earliest this transaction may be consummated is September 15, 2019, the effective date of the exemption.2 According to MSE, it currently owns and operates a 42-mile short line railroad between Evanston and Pascagoula, Miss. In its verified notice and supplement, MSE represents that: (1) The Line to be operated by ALE does not connect with the lines of MSE, and the railroads would not connect with any railroads in their corporate family; (2) the transaction is not part of a series of anticipated transactions that would connect these railroads with each other or with any railroad in their corporate family; and (3) the transaction does not involve a Class I rail carrier. The proposed transaction is therefore exempt from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323. See 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(2). Under 49 U.S.C. 10502(g), the Board may not use its exemption authority to relieve a rail carrier of its statutory obligation to protect the interests of its employees. Section 11326(c), however, does not provide for labor protection for transactions under sections 11324 and 11325 that involve only Class III rail carriers. Accordingly, the Board may not impose labor protective conditions here because only Class III carriers are involved. If the notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) 1 MSE states that it, in turn, is owned in part (onethird interest) by Illinois Central Railroad Company (IC) and in part (two-thirds interest) by various individual shareholders. 2 The verified notice was initially submitted on August 12, 2019. On August 16, 2019, MSE filed a supplement certifying that MSE and ALE are the only two railroads in the corporate family. In light of that supplement, August 16, 2019, is deemed the filing date of the verified notice. PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45821 may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the effectiveness of the exemption. Petitions to stay must be filed no later than September 6, 2019 (at least seven days before the exemption becomes effective). All pleadings, referring to Docket No. FD 36320, must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board either via e-filing or in writing addressed to 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423–0001. In addition, a copy of each pleading must be served on MSE’s representative: Eric M. Hocky, Clark Hill, PLC, One Commerce Square, 2005 Market Street, Suite 1000, Philadelphia, PA 19103, and Sloane S. Carlough, Clark Hill PLC, 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1300 South, Washington, DC 20004. According to MSE, this action is excluded from environmental review under 49 CFR 1105.6(c) and from historic preservation reporting requirements under 49 CFR 1105.8(b). Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov. Decided: August 27, 2019. By the Board, Allison C. Davis, Director, Office of Proceedings. Jeffrey Herzig, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2019–18807 Filed 8–29–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE Notice of Modification of Section 301 Action: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Notice of modification of action. AGENCY: In accordance with the specific direction of the President, the U.S. Trade Representative has determined to modify the action being taken in this Section 301 investigation by increasing the rate of additional duty from 10 to 15 percent for the products of China covered by the $300 billion tariff action published on August 20, 2019. SUMMARY: For products covered by Annex A of the August 20, 2019 notice (84 FR 43304), the rate of additional duty will be 15 percent on the current effective date of September 1, 2019. For products covered by Annex C of the August 20 notice, the rate of additional duty will be 15 percent on the current effective date of December 15, 2019. DATES: E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 45822 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices For questions about this action, contact Associate General Counsel Arthur Tsao or Assistant General Counsel Megan Grimball, or Director of Industrial Goods Justin Hoffmann at (202) 395–5725. For questions on customs classification or implementation of additional duties on products identified in the Annexes to this notice, contact traderemedy@ cbp.dhs.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES A. Prior Determinations in the Investigation On August 18, 2017, the U.S. Trade Representative initiated an investigation into certain acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. 82 FR 40213 (August 23, 2017). In April 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative published a notice of a determination that the acts, policies, and practices of China under investigation are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce, and are thus actionable under Section 301(b) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Trade Act). 83 FR 14906 (April 6, 2018). Up through early May 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative, at the direction of the President, determined to take actions resulting in the imposition of an additional 25 percent ad valorem duty on products of China with an aggregate annual trade value of approximately $250 billion in order to obtain the elimination of China’s acts, policies, and practices covered in the investigation. As explained in prior notices, the actions do not relate to China’s acts, policies, and practices involving technology licensing, which are being addressed separately in a WTO dispute settlement proceeding. The U.S. Trade Representative imposed these additional duties in three tranches. Tranche 1 covered 818 tariff subheadings, with an approximate annual trade value of $34 billion. See 83 FR 28710 (June 20, 2018). Tranche 2 covered 279 tariff subheadings, with an approximate annual trade value of $16 billion. See 83 FR 40823 (August 16, 2018). Tranche 3 covered 5,733 tariff subheadings, with an approximate annual trade value of $200 billion. See 83 FR 47974 (September 21, 2018); 83 FR 49153 (September 28, 2018); and 84 FR 20459 (May 9, 2019). As of mid-May 2019, China’s statements and conduct indicated that action at a $250 billion level was insufficient to obtain the elimination of China’s unfair and harmful policies. Accordingly, the President directed the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 U.S. Trade Representative to consider a possible modification of the action being taken in the form of additional duties of up to 25 percent on products of China with an annual aggregate trade value of approximately $300 billion. In a notice published on May 17, 2019 (84 FR 22564), the Office of the United States Trade Representative invited public comments and announced a public hearing with regard to the possible imposition of additional duties of up to 25 percent on a specific list of tariff subheadings with an approximate annual trade value of $300 billion. The notice and comment process concluded in early July 2019. In August 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative, at the direction of the President, determined to modify the action being taken in the investigation by imposing an additional 10 percent ad valorem duty on products of China with an annual aggregate trade value of approximately $300 billion. 84 FR 43304 (August 20, 2019). The August 20 notice contains two separate lists of tariff subheadings, with two different effective dates. List 1, which is set out in Annex A of the August 20 notice, is effective September 1, 2019. List 2, which is set out in Annex C of the August 20 notice, is effective December 15, 2019. B. Modification of Action The Section 301 statute (set out in Sections 301 to 308 of the Trade Act) (19 U.S.C. 2411–2418) includes authority for the U.S. Trade Representative to modify the action being taken in an investigation. In particular, Section 307(a)(1) authorizes the U.S. Trade Representative to modify or terminate any action taken under Section 301, subject to the specific direction, if any, of the President, if the burden or restriction on United States commerce of the acts, policies, and practices that are the subject of the action has increased or decreased, or the action is being taken under Section 301(b) and is no longer appropriate. The burden or restriction on United States commerce of the acts, policies, and practices that are the subject of the Section 301 action continues to increase. China’s unfair acts, policies, and practices include not just its technology transfer and IP polices referenced in the notice of initiation in the investigation, but also China’s subsequent defensive actions taken to maintain those unfair acts, policies, and practices as determined in that investigation. China has determined to impose tariffs on a substantial majority of U.S. goods exported to China, with the goal of pressuring the United States PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 to cease its efforts to obtain the elimination of China’s unfair policies. China has further taken or threatened to take additional countermeasures, including non-tariff measures, against commerce of the United States. For example, China has taken concrete steps to devalue its currency. See https:// home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/ sm751. Most recently, shortly following the August 2019 announcement of the $300 billion action, China responded by announcing further tariffs on U.S. goods, starting September 1, 2019. In short, instead of addressing the underlying problems, China has increased tariffs and adopted or threatened additional retaliation to further protect the unreasonable acts, policies, and practices identified in the investigation, resulting in increased harm to the U.S. economy. China’s most recent response of announcing a new tariff increase on U.S. goods has shown that the current action being taken is no longer appropriate. The United States is engaging with China with the goal of obtaining the elimination of the acts, policies, and practices covered in the investigation. The leaders of the United States and China met on December 1, 2018, and agreed to hold negotiations on a range of issues, including those covered in this Section 301 investigation. See https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefingsstatements/statement-press-secretaryregarding-presidents-working-dinnerchina. Since the meeting on December 1, 2018, the United States and China have engaged in additional rounds of negotiation on these issues, including meetings in March, April, May, and July 2019. At certain times in these discussions, China has offered specific commitments that were constructive towards reaching a resolution of this matter. However, China more recently has retreated from these commitments, indicating that the action currently being taken is not effective in obtaining the elimination of the unfair acts, policies, and practices covered in the investigation. And as noted, China’s specific response to the $300 billion action at a 10 percent rate of additional duty was not to address U.S. concerns, but rather to impose further retaliatory tariffs on U.S. commerce. For these reasons, and in accordance with the specific direction of the President, the U.S. Trade Representative has determined to modify the action being taken in the investigation by increasing the rate of additional duty from 10 percent ad valorem to 15 percent ad valorem on the goods of China specified in Annex A and Annex C of the August 20 notice. E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES As noted above, the May 17, 2019 notice invited public comments on duties of up to 25 percent on the products covered by the proposed $300 billion action. The current modification in the rate of additional duty takes into account the public comments and testimony, as well as advice from advisory committees and the interagency Section 301 committee, concerning the action proposed in the May 17 notice. The Annex to this notice amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to provide that the rate of additional duties for the products covered in Annex A and Annex C of the August 20 notice will be 15 percent. This increase in the rate of duty does not change the effective date of Annex A (September 1, 2019) or of Annex C (December 15, 2019). Annex Effective with respect to goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on September 1, 2019, subchapter III of chapter 99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is modified: 1. By amending U.S. Note 20(r) to subchapter III of chapter 99, as established by the U.S. Trade Representative in a determination contained in 84 Federal Register 43304 (August 20, 2019), by deleting ‘‘10 percent’’ each place that it appears, and inserting ‘‘15 percent’’ in lieu thereof; and 2. by amending the Rates of Duty 1General column of heading 9903.88.15, as established by the U.S. Trade Representative in a determination contained in 84 Federal Register 43304 (August 20, 2019), by deleting ‘‘10%’’, and inserting ‘‘15%’’ in lieu thereof. Effective with respect to goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on December 15, 2019, subchapter III of chapter 99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States is modified: 1. By amending U.S. Note 20(t) to subchapter III of chapter 99, as established by the U.S. Trade Representative in a determination contained in 84 Federal Register 43304 (August 20, 2019), by deleting ‘‘10 percent’’ each place that it appears, and inserting ‘‘15 percent’’ in lieu thereof; and 2. by amending the Rates of Duty 1General column of heading 9903.88.16, as established by the U.S. Trade Representative in a determination VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 contained in 84 Federal Register 43304 (August 20, 2019), by deleting ‘‘10%’’, and inserting ‘‘15%’’ in lieu thereof. 45823 Transportation’s normal business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given that FHWA has taken final Joseph Barloon, agency actions subject to 23 U.S.C. General Counsel, Office of the U.S. Trade 139(l)(1) by issuing a Record of Decision Representative. (ROD) for the following highway project [FR Doc. 2019–18838 Filed 8–27–19; 4:15 pm] in the State of Alabama: I–10 Mobile BILLING CODE 3290–F9–P River Bridge and Bayway Project in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. The proposed project to increase the capacity of Interstate Route 10 (I–10) by DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION constructing a new six-lane bridge across the Mobile River and replacing Federal Highway Administration the existing four-lane I–10 bridges across Mobile Bay with eight lanes Notice of Final Federal Agency Action above the 100-year storm elevation. The on the I–10 Mobile River Bridge and actions taken by FHWA, and the laws Bayway Project in Alabama under which such actions were taken, AGENCY: Federal Highway are described in the Combined Final Administration (FHWA), Department of Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) Transportation (DOT). and ROD approved on August 15, 2019, and in other documents in the project ACTION: Notice of Limitation on Claims records. The Combined FEIS and ROD for Judicial Review of Actions by and other project records can be viewed FHWA. on the project’s website at: SUMMARY: This notice announces actions www.mobileriverbridge.com. These taken by the FHWA that are final. The documents and other project records are action relates to the proposed project to also available by contacting FHWA or increase the capacity of Interstate Route the Alabama Department of 10 (I–10) by constructing a new six-lane Transportation at the phone numbers bridge across the Mobile River and and addresses listed above. This notice applies to all Federal replacing the existing four-lane I–10 agency decisions as of the issuance date bridges across Mobile Bay with eight of this notice and all laws under which lanes above the 100-year storm such actions were taken, including but elevation. The proposed project is not limited to: located in Mobile and Baldwin 1. General: National Environmental Counties, Alabama. Those actions grant Policy Act (NEPA) [42 U.S.C. 4321– approvals for the project. 4351]; Federal-Aid Highway Act DATES: By this notice, the FHWA is (FAHA) [23 U.S.C. 109 and 23 U.S.C. advising the public of final agency 128]. actions subject to 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(1). A 2. Air: Clean Air Act [42 U.S.C. 7401– claim seeking judicial review of the 7671(q)]. Federal agency actions on the project 3. Land: Section 4(f) of the will be barred unless the claim is filed Department of Transportation Act of on or before January 27, 2020. If the 1966 [49 U.S.C. 303 and 23 U.S.C. 138]. Federal law that authorizes judicial 4. Wildlife: Endangered Species Act review of a claim provides a time period [16 U.S.C. 1531–1544 and Section of less than 150 days for filing such 1536]; Marine Mammal Protection Act claim, then that shorter time period still [16 U.S.C. 1361–1423h]; Fish and applies. Wildlife Coordination Act [16 U.S.C. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 661–667(d)]; Migratory Bird Treaty Act Mark D. Bartlett, Division [16 U.S.C. 703–712]; Magnuson-Stevens Administrator, FHWA Alabama Fishery Conservation and Management Division, 9500 Wynlakes Place, Act of 1976, as amended [16 U.S.C. 1801 Montgomery, Alabama 36117–8515, et seq.]. Telephone: (334) 274–6350, 5. Historic and Cultural Resources: Email:Mark.Bartlett@dot.gov. The Section 106 of the National Historic FHWA Alabama Division Office’s Preservation Act of 1966, as amended normal business hours are 8:00 a.m. to [16 U.S.C. 470(f) et seq.]; Archeological 4:30 p.m. (Central Standard Time). You Resources Protection Act of 1977 [16 may also contact Matt J. Ericksen, U.S.C. 470aa–470mm]; Archeological Southwest Region Engineer, Alabama and Historic Preservation Act [16 U.S.C. Department of Transportation, 1701 I– 469–469c]; Native American Grave 65 West Service Road North, Mobile, Protection and Repatriation Act Alabama 36618, Telephone: (251) 470– (NAGPRA) [25 U.S.C. 3001–3013]. 6. Social and Economic: Civil Rights 8200, Email: ericksenm@dot.state.al.us. Act of 1964 [42 U.S.C. 2000(d)– The Alabama Department of PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 169 (Friday, August 30, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45821-45823]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18838]


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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE


Notice of Modification of Section 301 Action: China's Acts, 
Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual 
Property, and Innovation

AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION: Notice of modification of action.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with the specific direction of the President, 
the U.S. Trade Representative has determined to modify the action being 
taken in this Section 301 investigation by increasing the rate of 
additional duty from 10 to 15 percent for the products of China covered 
by the $300 billion tariff action published on August 20, 2019.

DATES: For products covered by Annex A of the August 20, 2019 notice 
(84 FR 43304), the rate of additional duty will be 15 percent on the 
current effective date of September 1, 2019. For products covered by 
Annex C of the August 20 notice, the rate of additional duty will be 15 
percent on the current effective date of December 15, 2019.

[[Page 45822]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about this action, 
contact Associate General Counsel Arthur Tsao or Assistant General 
Counsel Megan Grimball, or Director of Industrial Goods Justin Hoffmann 
at (202) 395-5725. For questions on customs classification or 
implementation of additional duties on products identified in the 
Annexes to this notice, contact [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

A. Prior Determinations in the Investigation

    On August 18, 2017, the U.S. Trade Representative initiated an 
investigation into certain acts, policies, and practices of the 
Government of China related to technology transfer, intellectual 
property, and innovation. 82 FR 40213 (August 23, 2017). In April 2018, 
the U.S. Trade Representative published a notice of a determination 
that the acts, policies, and practices of China under investigation are 
unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce, 
and are thus actionable under Section 301(b) of the Trade Act of 1974, 
as amended (Trade Act). 83 FR 14906 (April 6, 2018).
    Up through early May 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative, at the 
direction of the President, determined to take actions resulting in the 
imposition of an additional 25 percent ad valorem duty on products of 
China with an aggregate annual trade value of approximately $250 
billion in order to obtain the elimination of China's acts, policies, 
and practices covered in the investigation. As explained in prior 
notices, the actions do not relate to China's acts, policies, and 
practices involving technology licensing, which are being addressed 
separately in a WTO dispute settlement proceeding.
    The U.S. Trade Representative imposed these additional duties in 
three tranches. Tranche 1 covered 818 tariff subheadings, with an 
approximate annual trade value of $34 billion. See 83 FR 28710 (June 
20, 2018). Tranche 2 covered 279 tariff subheadings, with an 
approximate annual trade value of $16 billion. See 83 FR 40823 (August 
16, 2018). Tranche 3 covered 5,733 tariff subheadings, with an 
approximate annual trade value of $200 billion. See 83 FR 47974 
(September 21, 2018); 83 FR 49153 (September 28, 2018); and 84 FR 20459 
(May 9, 2019).
    As of mid-May 2019, China's statements and conduct indicated that 
action at a $250 billion level was insufficient to obtain the 
elimination of China's unfair and harmful policies. Accordingly, the 
President directed the U.S. Trade Representative to consider a possible 
modification of the action being taken in the form of additional duties 
of up to 25 percent on products of China with an annual aggregate trade 
value of approximately $300 billion. In a notice published on May 17, 
2019 (84 FR 22564), the Office of the United States Trade 
Representative invited public comments and announced a public hearing 
with regard to the possible imposition of additional duties of up to 25 
percent on a specific list of tariff subheadings with an approximate 
annual trade value of $300 billion. The notice and comment process 
concluded in early July 2019.
    In August 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative, at the direction of 
the President, determined to modify the action being taken in the 
investigation by imposing an additional 10 percent ad valorem duty on 
products of China with an annual aggregate trade value of approximately 
$300 billion. 84 FR 43304 (August 20, 2019). The August 20 notice 
contains two separate lists of tariff subheadings, with two different 
effective dates. List 1, which is set out in Annex A of the August 20 
notice, is effective September 1, 2019. List 2, which is set out in 
Annex C of the August 20 notice, is effective December 15, 2019.

B. Modification of Action

    The Section 301 statute (set out in Sections 301 to 308 of the 
Trade Act) (19 U.S.C. 2411-2418) includes authority for the U.S. Trade 
Representative to modify the action being taken in an investigation. In 
particular, Section 307(a)(1) authorizes the U.S. Trade Representative 
to modify or terminate any action taken under Section 301, subject to 
the specific direction, if any, of the President, if the burden or 
restriction on United States commerce of the acts, policies, and 
practices that are the subject of the action has increased or 
decreased, or the action is being taken under Section 301(b) and is no 
longer appropriate.
    The burden or restriction on United States commerce of the acts, 
policies, and practices that are the subject of the Section 301 action 
continues to increase. China's unfair acts, policies, and practices 
include not just its technology transfer and IP polices referenced in 
the notice of initiation in the investigation, but also China's 
subsequent defensive actions taken to maintain those unfair acts, 
policies, and practices as determined in that investigation. China has 
determined to impose tariffs on a substantial majority of U.S. goods 
exported to China, with the goal of pressuring the United States to 
cease its efforts to obtain the elimination of China's unfair policies. 
China has further taken or threatened to take additional 
countermeasures, including non-tariff measures, against commerce of the 
United States. For example, China has taken concrete steps to devalue 
its currency. See https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm751. 
Most recently, shortly following the August 2019 announcement of the 
$300 billion action, China responded by announcing further tariffs on 
U.S. goods, starting September 1, 2019. In short, instead of addressing 
the underlying problems, China has increased tariffs and adopted or 
threatened additional retaliation to further protect the unreasonable 
acts, policies, and practices identified in the investigation, 
resulting in increased harm to the U.S. economy.
    China's most recent response of announcing a new tariff increase on 
U.S. goods has shown that the current action being taken is no longer 
appropriate. The United States is engaging with China with the goal of 
obtaining the elimination of the acts, policies, and practices covered 
in the investigation. The leaders of the United States and China met on 
December 1, 2018, and agreed to hold negotiations on a range of issues, 
including those covered in this Section 301 investigation. See https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-regarding-presidents-working-dinner-china. Since the meeting on 
December 1, 2018, the United States and China have engaged in 
additional rounds of negotiation on these issues, including meetings in 
March, April, May, and July 2019. At certain times in these 
discussions, China has offered specific commitments that were 
constructive towards reaching a resolution of this matter. However, 
China more recently has retreated from these commitments, indicating 
that the action currently being taken is not effective in obtaining the 
elimination of the unfair acts, policies, and practices covered in the 
investigation. And as noted, China's specific response to the $300 
billion action at a 10 percent rate of additional duty was not to 
address U.S. concerns, but rather to impose further retaliatory tariffs 
on U.S. commerce.
    For these reasons, and in accordance with the specific direction of 
the President, the U.S. Trade Representative has determined to modify 
the action being taken in the investigation by increasing the rate of 
additional duty from 10 percent ad valorem to 15 percent ad valorem on 
the goods of China specified in Annex A and Annex C of the August 20 
notice.

[[Page 45823]]

    As noted above, the May 17, 2019 notice invited public comments on 
duties of up to 25 percent on the products covered by the proposed $300 
billion action. The current modification in the rate of additional duty 
takes into account the public comments and testimony, as well as advice 
from advisory committees and the interagency Section 301 committee, 
concerning the action proposed in the May 17 notice.
    The Annex to this notice amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of 
the United States to provide that the rate of additional duties for the 
products covered in Annex A and Annex C of the August 20 notice will be 
15 percent. This increase in the rate of duty does not change the 
effective date of Annex A (September 1, 2019) or of Annex C (December 
15, 2019).

Annex

    Effective with respect to goods entered for consumption, or 
withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. 
eastern daylight time on September 1, 2019, subchapter III of chapter 
99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is 
modified:
    1. By amending U.S. Note 20(r) to subchapter III of chapter 99, as 
established by the U.S. Trade Representative in a determination 
contained in 84 Federal Register 43304 (August 20, 2019), by deleting 
``10 percent'' each place that it appears, and inserting ``15 percent'' 
in lieu thereof; and
    2. by amending the Rates of Duty 1-General column of heading 
9903.88.15, as established by the U.S. Trade Representative in a 
determination contained in 84 Federal Register 43304 (August 20, 2019), 
by deleting ``10%'', and inserting ``15%'' in lieu thereof.
    Effective with respect to goods entered for consumption, or 
withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. 
eastern daylight time on December 15, 2019, subchapter III of chapter 
99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States is modified:
    1. By amending U.S. Note 20(t) to subchapter III of chapter 99, as 
established by the U.S. Trade Representative in a determination 
contained in 84 Federal Register 43304 (August 20, 2019), by deleting 
``10 percent'' each place that it appears, and inserting ``15 percent'' 
in lieu thereof; and
    2. by amending the Rates of Duty 1-General column of heading 
9903.88.16, as established by the U.S. Trade Representative in a 
determination contained in 84 Federal Register 43304 (August 20, 2019), 
by deleting ``10%'', and inserting ``15%'' in lieu thereof.

Joseph Barloon,
General Counsel, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
[FR Doc. 2019-18838 Filed 8-27-19; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 3290-F9-P