Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974: Origin, Evolution, and Use [November 16, 2020] [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Summary: "Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 grants the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) a range of responsibilities and authorities to investigate and take action to enforce U.S. rights under trade agreements and respond to certain foreign trade practices. From the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations in 1994, which resulted in the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, until the start of the Trump Administration, the United States used Section 301 authorities primarily to build cases and pursue dispute settlement at the WTO. The Trump Administration has shown more willingness to go outside of the WTO to act unilaterally under these authorities to promote what the Administration touts as 'free,' 'fair,' and 'reciprocal' trade. The Trump Administration's use of Section 301 to impose tariffs as punitive measures has been the subject of congressional and broader international debate, and some in Congress have raised a number of questions regarding USTR's actions, including the scope of USTR's authorities, the types of trade actions allowed, and the tariff exclusion process."
CRS Report for Congress, R46604
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/