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Alerts and Updates

U.S. Trade Representative Considers Extending Section 301 Exclusions Granted in December 2018

November 4, 2019

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Given the extremely short window for public comment, companies interested in extending their exclusions should seek counsel as soon as possible.

As the trade dispute between the United States and China continues, some companies who have received a reprieve may have an opportunity to seek another. On October 31, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it would open a process for one month only (November 1 through November 30, 2019) to allow public comment on whether it should allow companies who received December 2018 exclusions for their Chinese origin products to extend those exclusions for one year.

Although exclusions were initially set to expire on December 28, 2019, companies may apply to extend their exclusions for an additional year through the public comment process. At this time, USTR is not inviting comments concerning exclusions granted under any other product notice. The December 28, 2018, notice, along with a complete list of excluded products and their 10-digit Harmonize Tariff Schedule numbers, can be found in the Federal Register.

Products excluded in the December 28, 2018, action include various stainless steel guards and tools, manufacturing equipment, spark-ignition engines, water filtration equipment, belt conveyors and certain types of bearings products. Without an exclusion extension for their Chinese origin products, affected importers will begin paying additional duties of 25 percent on imports from China on December 29, 2019. Although duties were expected to rise to 30 percent earlier this year, it was delayed as trade negotiations between the United States and China continue.

USTR will evaluate the possible extension of each exclusion on a product case-by-case basis. USTR’s evaluation will primarily focus on whether the particular product in question remains available only from China, whether importers have made efforts since July 2018 to change their supply chains, changes in the global supply chain since July 2018 or if the imposition of additional duties will result in severe economic harm to the commenter or other U.S. interests.

Given the extremely short window for public comment, companies interested in extending their exclusions should seek counsel as soon as possible.

For More Information

If you have any questions about this Alert or need assistance in drafting a public comment, please contact Brian S. Goldstein, J. Manly Parks, Nathan B. Reeder, any of the attorneys in our International Practice Group or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.