Using WROs to Fight Forced Labor

Forced Labor is the third most lucrative illicit trade, behind only drugs and weapons, and has an annual trade value of roughly $150 Billion. Right now, over 40 million people around the world are victims of some type of forced labor, including modern slavery, human trafficking, etc.

Thankfully, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been working to curb this inhumane practice.

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NEW LIST 2- SECTION 301 EXTENSIONS

On June 25, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), requested the public to submit comments regarding potential product exclusion extensions for items subject to Section 301 Tariffs. This comment period specifically applied to products that were included on List 2, which went into effect on August 23, 2018.

List 2 imposed 25 percent additional duties on 279 eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) and had an annual trade value of $16 Billion.

On September 18, 2018, USTR provided the public with an exclusion process; then September 2019, USTR granted a number of exclusions that were set to expire on September 20, 2020. In the June 25th Notice, commenters were asked a variety of questions relating to their supply chains, such as…

whether the particular product and/or a comparable product is available from sources in the United States and/or in third countries; any changes in the global supply chain since August 2018 with respect to the particular product, or any other relevant industry developments; and efforts, if any, importers or U.S. purchasers have undertaken since August 2018 to source the product from the United States or third countries.

The June 25th announcement was made via federal register notice and stated that requests for exclusion extensions were to be submitted no later than July 30, 2020. Less than three months later, on September 22, 2020USTR announced its determination to extend certain exclusions through the end of the year. Although USTR […]

NEW List 1- Section 301 Extensions

On June 3, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), requested the public to submit comments regarding potential product exclusion extensions for items subject to Section 301 Tariffs. This comment period specifically applied to products that were included on List 1, which went into effect on July 6, 2018, and had an annual trade value of $34 Billion.

List 1 imposed 25 percent additional duties on 818 eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

The June 3 announcement was made via federal register notice and stated that submissions were to be made no later than July 7, 2020. Less than three months later, on September 20, 2020, USTR announced its determination to extend certain exclusions through the end of the year.

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Pending Section 301 Lawsuit Could be A Windfall – But You Have to Act Now

Possible Court Challenge to Section 301 Duties

A coalition of importers has just filed a Court challenge to the USTR’s imposition of Section 301 duties on certain imports from China under lists 3 and 4.  These duties were imposed as part of a process purportedly intended to address intellectual property abuses by China.  Specifically, this coalition has claimed that these duties were imposed contrary to law and ignored the statutory deadlines in Section 301.

Further, the coalition has argued that these duties were not imposed in response to the intellectual property violations alleged in the initiation notice, but rather were filed in response to the retaliatory tariffs enacted by China.  Accordingly, the coalition argues, such tariffs were void from the initial imposition. […]

Exclusion Extensions Granted for List 4A

On September 2, 2020, via Federal Register Notice, the United States Trade Representative formally announced its determination to extended certain previously granted exclusion requests through the end of the year; December 31, 2020.

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U.S. Ends Differential Treatment for Hong Kong

On Tuesday, August 11, 2020, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced via Federal Register Notice that all items made in Hong Kong and destined for the U.S. must now indicate “China” as the country of origin.

Hong Kong’s unique political situation as an autonomous city-state initially called for specially tailored laws and regulations governing items imported into the United States. For more than 20 years the US recognized the separation between China and Hong Kong, evidenced by the requirements to distinguish between the two. Additionally, in light of the Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation; as well as the regime’s human rights and forced labor abuses, the United States is especially keen on identifying items produced in China.

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List 3 Exclusion Extensions Granted – Did Your HTS Make the Cut?

Over 200 exclusions set to expire on August 7th are now effective until the end of the year.

In September 2018, as part of the Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation, the US imposed a 10 percent ad valorem duties on more than 5,700 goods from China worth approximately $200 billion (List 3). Since the publication of the exclusion process on June 24, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has granted 15 rounds of relief.

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China Tariff Update – List 2 Exclusions Extended

If you import goods subject to List 2/Tranche 2 China tariffs, read on!

Background:

Effective August 23, 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative imposed additional 25 percent duties on goods of China classified in 279 eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), with an approximate annual trade value of $16 billion. See 83 FR 40823 for List 2; the $16 billion action. The U.S. Trade Representative’s determination included a decision to establish a process by which U.S. stakeholders could request exclusion of particular products classified within an eight-digit HTSUS subheading covered by the $16 billion action from the additional duties. The U.S. Trade Representative issued a notice setting out the process for the product exclusions and opened a public docket. See 83 FR 47236 (the September 18 notice).

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More Section 301 Tariff Exclusion Requests Granted For List 4

Nearly a year ago, on August 20, 2019, President Trump and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) imposed a 10 percent ad valorem on imported goods from China, worth an estimated $300 Billion (Tranche or List 4), due to the US’ Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. Then, on August 30, 2019, the 10 percent ad valorem was raised to a 15 percent ad valorem. On January 22, 2020, the USTR, lowered the ad valorem on goods included on Annex A of List 4 to 7.5 percent and suspended the duties entirely for goods included on Annex C. See 84 FR 69447, 85 FR 3741.

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6th Round of Section 301 Tariff (List 1) Exclusions Extended

Just over two years ago, on July 6, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) levied an estimated $34 Billion in Tariffs (also known as Tranche 1 or List 1) or against imports into the U.S. from the Chinese Communist Party due to the US’ Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.

Following the publication of the tariffs, on July 11, 2018, USTR published Exclusion Process Procedures for items included on List 1. Petitioners were required to submit their requests by October 9, 2018, and USTR began granting exclusions in December 2018. Since the initial imposition of the Section 301 duties, USTR has granted 10 rounds of exclusions totaling more than 6,200 requests for List 1. Additionally, there are still more than 6,500 exclusion requests still pending approval for the Action taken on August 20, 2019.

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