USTR Considering One-Year Extension of China Tariff Exclusions

China shipping line

The Trump administration is weighing whether to extend by one year some China tariff exclusions, a move that would offer some relief for U.S. businesses navigating the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move would apply to some products excluded from the 25 percent tariffs that Trump imposed on Chinese goods in two initial batches: a list of $34 billion in products and $16 billion.

USTR asked for public comment on the idea before June 1. The trade agency said it would evaluate the exclusions, currently set to expire on July 9 and July 31, on a case-by-case basis, rather than approve an across-the-board extension. The focus of the evaluation will be “whether, despite the first imposition of these additional duties in July 2018, the particular product remains available only from China.” Additionally, the following issues should be addressed in submitting any comments:

  • 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 as to the particular product or any other relevant industry developments.
  • The efforts, if any, the importers or U.S. purchasers have undertaken since August 2018 to source the product from the United States or third countries.

The USTR notes that it will continue to consider whether the imposition of additional duties on the products covered by the exclusion will result in severe economic harm to the commenter or other U.S. interests.

Those wishing to comment must do so electronically, preferably by completing the Exclusion Extension Comment Form, which has recently been revised into one form that combines the previously separate public and confidential forms. Fields on the form marked as Business Confidential Information (BCI) will not be publicly available when comments are posted on the docket (uploaded supporting documents can also be marked as public of BCI).

Comments will be accepted between May 1 and June 1, 2020. All submissions must be made electronically via the portal on Docket Number USTR-2020-0017 (List 1) or USTR-2020-0018 (List 2).