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Still No Exclusion Request Process for China List 3 Goods

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Trump administration has yet to comply with a congressional directive to allow requests for exclusions from the Section 301 additional tariffs for most of the Chinese goods subject to such tariffs. Companies interested in seeking such exclusions should consider backing legislation that would require the administration to accept requests.

Imports of so-called List 3 goods from China, with an annual import value of about $200 billion, were assessed an additional 10 percent tariff as of Sept. 24, 2018. (Click here for a list of affected goods and details on all actions taken in this Section 301 case.) While the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has accepted requests for tariff exclusions for List 1 ($34 billion) and List 2 ($16 billion) goods, it has not provided for exclusions for List 3 goods. Congress directed USTR to do so in an explanatory statement accompanying appropriations legislation signed into law in February and requested a report on the nature and timing of this process no later than March 17.

However, no such report has been submitted and USTR Robert Lighthizer has continued to assert that no exclusion process will be developed until tariffs on List 3 goods are increased from 10 percent to 25 percent. That was supposed to occur March 1 but in late February President Trump delayed it indefinitely.

In the meantime, lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require the establishment of a tariff exclusion request process for goods on List 3 and any future lists. As with the existing exclusion process for List 1 and List 2 goods, refunds could be sought for duties paid on any List 3 goods granted an exclusion. Additionally, efforts are underway to amend this legislation to include an appeals process for goods denied tariff exclusions, with the review possibly being conducted by the International Trade Commission.

Companies interested in securing exclusions for List 3 goods should support this legislation. For more information, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956.

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