US protectionism

Commenting on Section 301: Growing Public Opposition

This is an important week for the ongoing US Section 301 case against China.  The public comment period closed last week—attracting a record number of submissions--2857 and counting.  This week, the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office will be holding public hearings on the matter.  By the end of next week, the United States will be in a position to impose sanctions against China at any time.
Such sanctions may be delayed, of course, as a result of discussions in Washington with China’s top negotiator, Liu He. In the meantime, it is worthwhile to examine the type of comments that arrived under the Section 301 request to see what level of support seems forthcoming for a hard reaction, represented by an opening salvo of 25% tariff increases on $50 billion in goods.