Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 provides the United States with the authority to enforce trade agreements, resolve trade disputes, and open foreign markets to U.S. goods and services. It is the principal statutory authority under which the United States may impose trade sanctions on foreign countries that either violate trade agreements or engage in other unfair trade practices. When negotiations to remove the offending trade practice fail, the United States may take action to raise import duties on the foreign country's products as a means to rebalance lost concessions.
The list of products on which the United States raises import duties is called a “retaliation list.” Products included on a retaliation list are carefully selected to minimize the adverse impact on U.S. consumers, firms, and workers. MAS’s Office of Trade Policy Analysis is responsible for developing all retaliation lists implemented by the United States Trade Representative.