In the news: Certain ceramic tile from the European Union may be hit with retaliatory tarriffs from US

CTDA has become aware that certain ceramic tile from the European Union may be hit with retaliatory tariffs as a consequence of a trade dispute between the EU and the United States.  This was published in the Federal Register on April 12.

The dispute at issue involves purported illegal subsidies paid by EU governments to Airbus which enables Airbus to sell their aircraft at a lower price, thereby taking sales from Boeing and perhaps other US aircraft manufacturers.

What does ceramic tile have to do with such a dispute involving aircraft?  On the surface, nothing.  There is, however, a statute on the books, Section 301 of the Trade Act, that empowers the President to undertake retaliatory trade actions (generally in the form of the imposition of added tariffs) against the products of a country or group of countries such as the EU.  Thus, the targeted products often have nothing to do with the underlying dispute other than they originate in the targeted country or countries.   This is currently being employed against China with tariffs imposed on a wide range of products for its trade policies.

For the EU in this matter, the Trade Representative proposes that appropriate action would include the imposition of additional duties of up to 100 percent on certain products of the EU.

The products that are being considered for additional import duties include:

6802.10.00 Tiles/cubes/similar arts. of natural stone, enclosable in a sq. w/a side less than 7 cm; artificially colored granules, chippings & powder.
6802.91.20 Monumental or building stone & arts. thereof, of travertine, dressed or polished but not further worked, nesoi.
6802.91.25 Monumental or building stone & arts. thereof, of travertine, further worked than dressed or polished, nesoi.
6802.93.00 Monumental or building stone & arts. thereof, of granite, further worked than simply cut/sawn, nesoi.
6802.99.00 Monumental or building stone & arts. thereof, nesoi, further worked than simply cut/sawn, nesoi.
6803.00.50 Worked slate (other than roofing slate) and articles of slate or agglomerated slate.
6810.99.00 Articles of cement (other than tiles, flagstones, bricks and similar arts.), of concrete or artificial stone, nesoi.
6907.21.30 Glazed ceramic tiles having surface area <38.7cm2, surf area in sq w/side <7cm, of H2O absorp coeff by wt <=0.5%.

There is an opportunity to appear at a hearing before the Section 301 Committee and to present public testimony concerning the inclusion of products on the retaliatory tariff list or to file a written statement with the Commission.  The schedule for this is as follows (NOTE: CTDA has requested to appear and testify at the hearing).

May 15, 2019: The Section 301 Committee will convene a public hearing in the Main Hearing Room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

May 28, 2019: Due date for submission of written comments, including post-hearing rebuttal comments.

Read more here.

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