WASHINGTON – Following Ambassador Katherine Tai’s announcement on October 4, 2021 that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) will start a targeted tariff exclusion process, today USTR is posting a Federal Register notice inviting public comments on whether to reinstate previously extended exclusions. The exclusions process is a key part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s deliberative, long-term vision for realigning the U.S. – China trade relationship around our priorities and making trade work for American workers and businesses.
In her speech outlining the Administration’s new approach, Ambassador Tai also announced that she will discuss with China its performance under the Phase One Agreement, raise our broader concerns with Beijing's non-market policies and practices, and work with allies and partners who share our strong interest in ensuring that the terms of competition are fair.
Of the more than 2,200 exclusions that were granted, 549 were extended. Most of these exclusions expired by December 31, 2020. As these exclusions were previously found to warrant additional time, USTR will evaluate, on a case-by-case basis, the possible reinstatement of each exclusion.
The focus of the evaluation will be whether, despite the first imposition of these additional duties in September 2018, the particular product remains available only from China. In addition, USTR will consider whether reinstating the exclusion, or not reinstating the exclusion, will impact or result in severe economic harm to the commenter or other U.S. interests, including the impact on small businesses, employment, manufacturing output, and critical supply chains in the United States, as well as the overall impact of the exclusions on the goal of obtaining the elimination of China’s acts, policies and practices covered in the Section 301 investigation.
The public comment period will last for 50 days, from October 12 through December 1. USTR will then review the public comments, and consult with other agencies, including the Small Business Administration. As part of the exclusion review process, USTR will work to ensure the China 301 tariffs align with the Biden-Harris Administration’s economic priorities. The reinstated exclusions will be retroactive to October 12. USTR is seeking comments on the appropriate length for the reinstated exclusions. Reinstated exclusions will be published in the Federal Register.
The text of the Federal Register notice inviting public comment can be viewed here. A list of the over 500 exclusions covered by the notice is posted separately on the USTR website here.