Toy Association Files New Amicus Brief Calling Out Failures of USTR’s Tariffs Response

September 15, 2022 | The Toy Association joined a group of trade associations in collectively filing a “friend of the court” amicus brief with the U.S. Court of International Trade on September 14 against the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) insufficient response to critical 301 tariff comments.

The brief called out the USTR’s continual deflection of thousands of critical comments received during its initial rulemaking process for the Trump-era tariffs. The tariffs have remained in effect under the Biden administration and continue to negatively impact thousands of American businesses and their employees. The group noted that the Court has already “bent over backwards to allow USTR to comply with its Administrative Procedure Act obligations,” and that the USTR has shown itself “incapable of meeting its legal responsibilities.”

The coalition has requested the Court impose the “normal remedy for unlawful agency action and vacate the tariffs,” emphasizing the USTR’s lack of response and the 301 Tariffs’ continued contribution to rising inflation and supply chain disruptions. The group also asked all illegally collected List 3 and List 4 tariff duties be returned. In September 2020, more than 6,500 plaintiffs filed suit challenging the List 3 and List 4A tariffs as unlawful under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, arguing that the USTR exceeded its authority by failing to provide “meaningful opportunity” for, or consideration of, public comments.

“Since these tariffs were first imposed, The Toy Association has remained actively engaged on this issue, even as it’s faded from the headlines,” said Ed Desmond, executive vice president of global government & regulatory affairs at The Toy Association. “While we had anticipated the positive collective advocacy work of the coalition would have urged a response from the USTR, it is clear this is no longer the case. As these taxes continue to drive up toy prices, which ultimately hurt American families, we now hope this latest brief is the last push needed for the Court to take necessary actions toward the USTR and end these tariffs once and for all.”

Click here to view the full amicus brief.