WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Approximately 3,500 US companies, including Tesla Inc. TSLA.O, Ford Motor Co. FN, Target Corp. TGT.N, Walgreen Co. WBA.O and Home Depot HD.N. have sued the Trump administration in the past two weeks for imposing tariffs on more than $ 300 billion (£ 235.35 billion) of goods made in China.
The lawsuits filed with the US Commercial Court named US commercial agent Robert Lighthizer and the Customs and Border Protection Agency and question the so-called unlawful escalation of the US trade war with China by imposing a third and fourth round tariffs.
The legal challenges facing a wide variety of companies suggest that the Trump administration failed to introduce tariffs or comply with administrative procedures within a required 12 month period.
The companies are opposing the “unlimited and unlimited government trade war that is affecting billions of dollars in goods imported from the People’s Republic of China by US importers,” according to a lawsuit filed by auto parts maker Dana Corp. THEN.
The lawsuits challenge tariffs in two separate groups known as List 3 and List 4A. “List 3 contains 25% tariffs on imports of approximately $ 200 billion, while List 4A contains 7.5% tariffs on goods of $ 120 billion.
One lawsuit argues that the government cannot extend tariffs to other Chinese imports “for reasons unrelated to the unfair intellectual property policies and practices it originally investigated.”
Heavy truck maker Volvo Group North America is among the companies filing lawsuits VOLVb.ST, US auto parts dealer Pep Boys, clothing company Ralph Lauren, Sysco Corp. SYY.N, Guitar maker Gibson Brands, Lenovo 0992.HK US unit Dole Packaged Foods, a unit of Itochu Corp. 8001.T and golf equipment manufacturer Callaway Golf Co.
In Home Depot’s lawsuit, duties were imposed on bamboo floors, cordless drills, and many other Chinese-made products. Walgreen, a unit of the Walgreen Boots Alliance, said it pays higher tariffs on products like “seasonal novelties; Party, first aid and office supplies; and household items. “
The Lighthizer office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
On September 15, the World Trade Organization found that the United States was violating global trade rules by introducing billions of dollars in tariffs in Trump’s trade war with China.
The Trump administration says tariffs on Chinese goods are justified because China stole intellectual property and forced US companies to transfer technology to access China’s markets.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Adaptation by Tom Brown