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BIS Expands Export Restrictions Targeting China’s Largest Chipmaker

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 27, 2020 1 Comment

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry & Security (“BIS”) informed some U.S. semiconductor manufacturers via a confidential letter that they would require export licenses before exporting certain products to China’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (“SMIC”). Although the letter is not available for public view, a September 28, 2020 Wall Street Journal article that broke the story said that the Commerce Department was concerned about high risks of diversion to a military end use. This additional export license requirement is part of a broader pattern of increased export restrictions, particularly to China.

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LIST 3 Exclusion Updates

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 26, 2020 0 comments

On June 24, 2019, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) provided the public with an exclusion process for items included subjected to Section 301 Tariffs. Specifically, the exclusions related to products included on List 3, which went into effect on September 24, 2018.

Originally, List 3 imposed 10 percent ad valorem duties on 5,757 full and partial subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) and had an annual trade value of $200 Billion. Months later, in May 2019, the 10 percent ad valorem duties were increased to 25 percent. Continue Reading

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List 4 Exclusion Update

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 23, 2020 0 comments

On  June 26, July 17, and August 11, 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 4.

When the list was announced on August 20, 2019, it imposed a 10 percent ad valorem on 3,805 full and partial subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), with an annual trade value of approximately $300 billion. Then, on August 30, 2019, USTR increased the rate of the additional duty announced in the August 20 notice from 10 to 15 percent. Finally, on January 22, 2020, USTR determined to reduce the rate from 15 to 7.5 percent. Continue Reading

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NEW LIST 2- SECTION 301 EXTENSIONS

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 1, 2020 1 Comment

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 could have extended the exclusions for up to 12 months, these exclusions are effective as of September 20, 2020, and will now expire on December 31, 2020.

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NEW List 1- Section 301 Extensions

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 24, 2020 1 Comment

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

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 15, 2020 1 Comment

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. Continue Reading

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Exclusion Extensions Granted for List 4A

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 2, 2020 0 comments

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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Expanded Export Control Obligations when Exporting to China

posted by Jennifer Diaz August 24, 2020 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil, a trade policy researcher in Washington, DC, with a background in global logistics, international trade, and commercial diplomacy. Patil is an active member of the District of Columbia bar, and is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law.

Introduction

U.S. export controls refer to a set of federal laws which restrict the export of certain sensitive goods, technologies, information and services. Export controls are primarily enforced through two U.S. government agencies: the U.S. Department of Commerce (for Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”)) and the U.S. Department of State (for International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”)). In recent months, U.S. export control laws have expanded exporters’ obligations when exporting critical technologies to China, as well as other sensitive export destinations such as Russia and Venezuela. In particular, U.S. laws on exporting critical goods to Hong Kong have changed; there is a greater requirement to exercise due diligence when exporting; the entity list has expanded; and filing requirements have changed. It is important for U.S. exporters to keep abreast of changes to export control laws in order to remain compliant and avoid serious penalties. We will explain each of these developments, in turn.

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U.S. Ends Differential Treatment for Hong Kong

posted by Jennifer Diaz August 19, 2020 1 Comment

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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China Tariff Update – List 2 Exclusions Extended

posted by Jennifer Diaz July 31, 2020 0 comments

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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