Apple, Intel, Pfizer join 3,700-plaintiff tariff suit before Court of International Trade
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Apple, Intel, Pfizer join 3,700-plaintiff tariff suit before Court of International Trade

Apple, Intel and Pfizer joined 3,700 other US businesses Tuesday in their suit against the US regarding Trump-era tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese products. This lawsuit concerns the List 3 and List 4 tariffs imposed on Chinese goods under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which is enforced by the US Trade Representative.

This lawsuit was first brought by HMTX Industries LLC in September 2020 and initially targeted List 3 tariffs. However, the lawsuit grew in size, expanding to include List 4 tariffs and was joined by major companies such as Ford, Tesla and Walgreens. In February the Court of International Trade, which has jurisdiction over tariff suits and other civil suits arising out of US customs and international trade law, consolidated the cases, which now include more than 3,700 US businesses. The case is currently titled In re Section 301 Cases v. United States (Docket number 1:21-cv-00052) and is before a three-judge panel composed of Judges Mark Barnett, Claire Kelly and Jennifer Choe-Groves.

The List 3 and List 4 tariffs are currently not in effect, as the Court of International Trade blocked the Biden administration from finalizing the tariffs in July. The plaintiffs argued that the List 3 and List 4 tariffs were not authorized under Section 301 because they were not sufficiently connected to the IP theft and technology transfer justifications that had initially justified List 1 and List 2 tariffs under Section 301. Rather, the subsequent tariffs merely amounted to part of the trade war and did not have any justification permitted by the Trade Act.

Apple is represented by Sidley Austin, Intel is represented by Perkins Coie and Pfizer is represented by Hogan Lovells.