Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974: Requirements, Procedures, and Developments

Bello, Judith Hippler, Holmer, Alan F. | January 1, 1986

The recent dramatic increase in the use of Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (“§ 301”) and a predecessor provision in the Trade Expansion Act warrants a review of its requirements and procedures. This Article illustrates those requirements and procedures through § 301’s application in particular cases. The Article also explains why recent events have led to more frequent resort to § 301 and related legal provisions. Section 301 is currently the lodestar of the Administration’s free and fair trade policy. This policy stresses, in particular, the need for equitable access to foreign markets for United States exports of goods and services and foreign direct investment. The increasing importance of § 301 is evident from the range and significance of actions which have been taken recently. For these reasons, an understanding of the legal criteria for action under § 301 and the procedures employed in these proceedings is critical to the effective use of available United States trade remedies.