USTR doubles length of tariff hearing on $200 billion of China goods

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said on Friday it doubled the length of tariff hearings on the next $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to six days from the previously planned three due to overwhelming demand from companies to testify.

The hearings will be held Aug. 20-24 and on Aug. 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT (1330-2200 GMT), the USTR said in a statement. The agency released a list of 359 people who will present testimony, representing a wide swath of U.S. companies producing goods ranging from home building supplies to technology products, bicycles and apparel.

Most are companies that have registered complaints about the higher costs they say they will face due to the tariffs, which are expected to take effect in late September after a public comment period ends on Sept. 5.

President Donald Trump has threatened 25 percent tariffs on the $200 billion list of Chinese imports because of China’s retaliatory tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. products in the two countries’ escalating trade war.

The latest U.S. list will hit consumer products harder than tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese components now in place and $16 billion worth of semiconductors and other products that will take effect on Aug. 23.

The list includes a wide range of consumer goods including car tires, furniture, lighting and wood products, suitcases, dog and cat food, baseball gloves and bicycles.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Dan Grebler