Potential Relief from China Tariffs Coming

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

Background on Section 301 Tariffs

A key element of the U.S.-China trade war, initiated under the Trump administration and continuing through Biden’s first term, was the imposition of China tariffs under Section 301. Section 301 is a mechanism via which the President can retaliate against foreign countries that violate U.S. trade agreements or engage in acts that are “unjustifiable” or “unreasonable” and burden U.S. commerce. With regard to China, the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) found that China’s acts, policies, and practices related to intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. Accordingly, a broad set of tariffs were instituted. Section 301 tariffs for goods originating from China have been so expansive that U.S. Customs revenue has nearly doubled from $41.6 billion in FY 2018 to $71.9 billion in FY 2019 and $74.4 billion in FY 2020.

[…]

301 Exclusion Extensions for COVID-19 Related Products

On March 10, 2021, via Federal Register Notice ( 86 FR 13785), the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that 99 medical product exclusions will be extended from March 31, 2021, to September 30, 2021. This action extends a previous USTR action which extended these exclusions from December 31, 2020, to March 31, 2020 (85 FR 85831). […]

USTR Announces China 301 Tariff Exclusion Extensions for COVID-Related Products

On December 29, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced long-awaited extensions to a limited set of previously granted exclusions (for COVID-related products), that were set to expire on December 31, 2020. Meanwhile, importers across non-COVID industries are continuing to await guidance on their tariff exclusion extensions that are set to expire on December 31, 2020.

[…]

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 […]

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.

[…]

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).

[…]

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.

[…]

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.

[…]

Section 301 Tariff Updates: USTR Grants Exclusions & Seeks Comments on Products Necessary to Combat COVID-19!

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), faced with the current COVID-19 pandemic, has moved quickly to grant numerous exclusion requests in March 2020; many of which are for medical supplies. USTR is also seeking comments from industry on whether products are necessary to combat COVID-19 spread and should be excluded from the additional duties. DTL has assisted clients in submitting comments to the USTR – this is the time to let your voice be heard.

Below is a chart summarizing recent changes to Section 301 Tariffs:

[…]

Go to Top