USTR to Consider Extension of Tariff Exclusions on $34 Billion of Chinese Imports

As the leaders of the United States and China continue to negotiate new trade terms and navigate through tariff increases implemented on imported goods, the office of the United States Trade Representative made an announcement on Oct. 28 regarding exclusions. On Nov. 1, the USTR will begin a process to consider an extension on exclusions that were granted in December of 2018 on July 6, 2018, tariffs. The exclusions are scheduled to expire on Dec. 28, and comments regarding exclusions may be submitted until Nov. 30.

In a Federal Register notice, the office of the USTR established guidelines for the decision-making process regarding exemption extensions.

“The USTR will evaluate the possible extension of each exclusion on a case-by-case basis. 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,” according to the notice by Joseph Barloon, general counsel for the USTR. “In addition, the USTR 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.”

This announcement followed a decision by the White House to not implement an additional 5 percent tariff, from 25 percent to 30 percent, on $250 billion in goods imported from China, which was originally scheduled to be enacted on Oct. 15. According to the Associated Press, this decision was made after China agreed to purchase between $40 billion and $50 billion in agricultural products from the United States.