Trump’s Tariffs: Sections 201, 232, and 301: What You Need to Know
Martin is a customs and international trade lawyer admitted to practice in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, and before the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and the U.S. Court of International Trade. A graduate of Rutgers Law School, he is also the holder of a Master of Public Administration degree. Martin is a distinguished graduate of both the U.S. Law Enforcement Training Center and the U.S. Customs Service Academy. He is also a licensed U.S. Customs Broker (No. 20643), one who worked in the industry for several years.
A former U.S. Customs officer (senior inspector and import specialist), Martin was stationed at land, air, and seaports of entry. While with U.S. Customs, he was also a member of the agency's export control branch. Martin is also a former special agent with the U.S. Department of Defense, an assistant prosecutor with the Office of Hudson County (NJ) Prosecutor, and an executive with a global FMC-licensed Ocean Transportation Intermediary. Martin was also a trade consultant with Unz & Co.
Presently, Martin is an instructor with City University of New York's Baruch College of Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS), where he teaches import, export, and other international trade courses. Martin is also the principal attorney of the Law Office of Martin K. Behr, which is located at the Port of New York/Newark. He lectures regularly before international trade groups and associations.
The President’s recent tariff actions raise a number of significant issues for Congress. These issues include the economic effects of tariffs on firms, farmers, and workers, and the overall U.S. economy, the appropriate use of delegated authorities in line with congressional intent, and the potential implications and impact of these measures for broader U.S. trade policy, particularly with respect to the U.S. role in the global trading system.
The products affected by the tariff increases include washing machines, solar products, steel, aluminum, and numerous imports from China. Retaliatory tariffs are affecting several U.S. exports, including agricultural products such as soybeans and pork, motor vehicles, steel, and aluminum.
- Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 - Allows the President to impose temporary duties and other trade measures if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determines a surge in imports is a substantial cause or threat of serious injury to a U.S. industry
- Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 - Allows the President to adjust imports if the Department of Commerce finds certain products are imported in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair U.S. national security
- Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974—Allows the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to suspend trade agreement concessions or impose import restrictions if it determines a U.S. trading partner is violating trade agreement commitments or engaging in discriminatory or unreasonable practices that burden or restrict U.S. commerce
- Since 2017 there have been several waves of tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. But not all tariffs are the same, and the justification and laws that allow their imposition can vary a lot. U.S. importers and exporters can be badly damaged or completely destroyed. Anyone involved in international trade must know and appreciate Section 201, Section 232, and Section 301
Overview of recent tariff actions
- What are the goals of the President’s tariff actions and why are these actions of note?
- What is Section 201, Section 232, and Section 301?
- Which countries are affected by the tariff increases?
- Why is China a major focus of the Administration’s action?
- Scale and scope of U.S. and retaliatory tariffs
- What U.S. imports are included in the tariff actions?
- What U.S. do exports face retaliatory tariff measures?
- What exemptions are allowed from the tariffs imposed to date?
- How many product exclusion requests have been made?
- Examples of U.S. producers benefiting or being harmed by the tariffs
- Relation to WTO and U.S. trade agreements
- How to prevent and address Section 201, Section 232, and Section 301 problems
Course Level - Intermediate
Who Should Attend
- Business owners
- Lawyers, and anyone involved in importing goods into the United States or exporting goods from the United States abroad
Why Should You Attend
The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the sole authority over the regulation of foreign commerce. Over the past several decades, however, Congress has authorized the President to adjust tariffs and other trade restrictions in certain circumstances through specific trade laws. Using these delegated authorities under three trade laws, President Trump has imposed increased tariffs, largely in the range of 10% - 25%, on a variety of U.S. imports to address concerns related to national security, injury to competing industries, and China’s trade practices on forced technology transfer and intellectual property rights, among other issues. Several U.S. trade partners argue that these tariff actions violate existing U.S. commitments under multilateral and bilateral or regional trade agreements and have imposed tariffs on U.S. exports in retaliation. Congress continues to actively examine and debate these tariffs, and several bills have been introduced either to expand, limit or revise existing authorities.
If you are in any way involved in international trade, you should attend this seminar so that you can avoid making all sorts of costly and perhaps fatal importing and exporting mistakes. You should attend, too, so as to be able to navigate and prosper in uncertain and complicated times.