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Section 301 China Tariff Exclusions Extended
Earlier this month, on September 6, 2023, the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced to the world that it will be extending 352 reinstated exclusions and 77 COVID-19 related exclusions to duties imposed on goods from China pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The USTR imposed Section 301 duties in four lists, called “tranches” and it established a process that allows importers to request exclusions for products on each list. The 352 reinstated exclusions, listed in an annex to a previous notice, cover products from all 4 lists. The 77 COVID-related exclusions, listed in an annex to another previous notice, cover medical-care products needed to address the pandemic. Both the reinstated exclusions and the COVID-related exclusions were previously set to expire on September 30, 2023, but are now extended until December 31, 2023.
The announcement states that the goal of this most recent extension is to “provide a transition period for the expiring exclusions and to allow for further consideration under the four-year review,” referring to the ongoing review mandated by Section 307(c)(3) of the Trade Act of 1974. The USTR began its four-year review of the Section 301 duties on May 5, 2022, and through this review it will evaluate the effectiveness of the duties and their effects on the United States economy. The USTR previously told Congress that it will conclude its review this fall, but there is no statutory deadline for completion. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo also stated in a September 5, interview that she does not expect any further amendments or revisions to the Section 301 duties until the four-year review is complete.
The USTR’s extension of the reinstated and COVID-related exclusions comes just one week after the U.S. Secretary of State visited China to meet with government officials. Her visit included a meeting with China’s Vice Premier He Lifeng at which China raised concerns about U.S. tariffs. Following the visit, the United States and China agreed to establish more consistent communication channels on commercial issues, export controls and protecting trade secrets.
Contributor: Jordan Peterman
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