USTR Issues Procedures for Seeking Product-Specific Exclusions From Section 301 Tariffs on Chinese-Origin Goods

Retaliatory tariffs of 25% ad valorem, imposed pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade ct of 1974, went into force against a wide range of imported Chinese goods on July 6, 2018. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced procedures for a process whereby interested parties may seek product-specific exemptions from these tariffs.

Key aspects of the procedure are as follows:

  • There is a one-time, 90-day period for applying for product specific exclusions. The window for filing an exclusion petition closes October 9, 2018;
  • Exclusions, if granted, will be retroactive to July 6, 2018, paving the way for importers to obtain refunds of Section 301 tariffs paid on  the exempted products;
  • Product-specific exemptions will be effective for one (1) year. We assume there will be a procedure for extending this period, should the Section 301 tariffs be in effect longer than a year, but the enclosed notice does not speak to that.

The notice indicates the information to be provided on product exclusion petitions. In addition to basic petitioner and product identifying information, the applications should include information about whether the product is available from countries other than China, whether the tariffs are causing financial harm to the petitioner, and whether the  product in question is included in China’s “Made in China 2025” development program.

Once published for review, interested members of the public will have 14 days to comment on petitions, and a 7-day rebuttal comment period will be provided.

 

            USTR will provide a template for product exclusion applications, which should be submitted electronically on www.regulations.gov.

 

            A similar product exclusion process for Section 232 national security tariffs on steel and aluminum products has attracted over 20,000 petition in a short period of time.

 

            We can perceive no downside to companies filing applications for exclusion of their specific products from the Section 301 tariffs.

           

            Neville Peterson LLP stands ready to discuss this matter in further detail at your convenience and provide such additional information or assistance as affected firms may require.