Higher Tariffs on Imports from China to Begin This Summer

May 22, 2024 – The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will publish a notice tomorrow on the Biden Administration’s timing for higher Section 301 tariff rates affecting imports from China.

USTR public inspection notice says, “…Increases in 2024 be effective August 1, 2024.” The new rates will affect electric vehicles, solar cells and other products. USTR says increases in 2025, including semiconductors from China, and 2026, including medical gloves, will “be effective January 1 of the corresponding year.” Read the 52-page USTR notice for product descriptions.

Senator Urges Tariff Hike on Chinese ICE Vehicles

May 22, 2024 — Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote a letter to the White House last week criticizing President Biden’s decision to increase tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) under Section 301.

The letter criticizes the lack of a comparable duty increase for Chinese internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Sen. Rubio states that Chinese imports of both types of vehicles pose an “extinction-level threat” to the American auto industry. The letter urges the White House to “protect the entire auto industry” to avoid grave consequences.

Read more in Sen. Rubio’s letter.

Senate Report: Imported Cars Used Banned Auto Parts

May 22, 2024 – A report from the Senate Finance Committee this week says that thousands of BMWs and Mini Coopers were imported illegally using electronic components from a banned Chinese supplier on the UFLPA Entity List.

The report, Insufficient Diligence: Car Makers Complicit with CCP Forced Labor, was the result from a two-year Senate investigation on the use of forced labor in the auto industry. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden said a statement, “I’m calling on [U.S.] Customs and Border Protection to take a number of specific steps to supercharge enforcement and crack down on companies that fuel the shameful use of forced labor in China.” For details, download the report.

FDA’s John Verbeten to Leave Office of Enforcement and Import Operations

May 22, 2024 – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week that John Verbeten is leaving his role as Deputy Director for Import Operations Enforcement within the Office of Enforcement and Import Operations (OEIO).

Mr. Verbeten is moving to FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), where he will serve as the next Director of CTP’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement.

For more information, read CTP’s news release.

FAA Reauthorization Act to Fund Airport Improvements

May 22, 2024 – President Biden is expected to sign into law this week The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024, which will beef up the Federal Aviation Administration at $105 billion over five years.

The legislation includes more funding for the Airport Improvement Program, which pays for new airport infrastructure, including cargo screening facilities and equipment, as well as airport access improvements. Read the bill text.