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USTR Reinstates Certain Section 301 Exclusions

After weeks of lobbying from industry leaders and a bipartisan group of US lawmakers, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced on Wednesday, March 23 that it is reinstating exclusions for 352 products that had previously been subjected to Section 301 Chinese tariffs.

The exclusions will be retroactively effective from October 12, 2021, which was when the previous exemptions had expired, and will last through December 31, 2022. The decision follows a two-month long review period that was open to comments from the public and consultation notes from other US agencies. Criteria used by the USTR to determine eligibility for an additional round of exclusions included whether the product was available from alternative sources, recent developments within the global supply chain, and domestic capacity for producing the product in the United States. The USTR also considered whether reinstating the exclusions would result in harm to U.S. economic interests and critical domestic supply chains, as well as the impact that exclusions might have on the US’ overall goal of minimizing China’s acts, policies, and practices that led to the initial Section 301 investigation.

The Section 301 tariffs were overhauled by the Trump administration in 2018, and affected nearly $350 billion worth of Chinese goods, including solar panels, household appliances, steel imports, and certain medical devices. China then imposed retaliatory duties on U.S. farm exports, which cost the agricultural sector $27 billion in lost exports between 2018 and 2019 according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service.

In January of 2022, a coalition of 140 bipartisan U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to the Ambassador of the Office of U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, requesting immediate approval and implementation of Section 301 exemptions. The lawmakers claimed that failure to do so would irreparably harm US businesses in multiple industries, and further argued that the list of categories currently under consideration for exemptions– 549 items, or 1% of the original exclusion list– is too narrow, and called for a vast expansion.

The USTR’s decision is unlikely to appease lawmakers, given that the newly extended exclusions only account for 0.6% of the original list of tariff exemptions. In its Notice of Reinstatement, the USTR noted that it may consider further exclusion extensions, so additional debate will likely propagate over the ensuing months.

How Allyn Can Help

At Allyn we have the experience, systems, and best practices in place to help guide clients through developments regarding the Section 301 tariffs. If your business has been affected by these duties, Allyn International is able to provide effective guidance to help minimize costs and traverse any new progressions involving U.S. - China relations and regulations. If interested, please contact us at

Contributor: Jennifer Nowicki

About Allyn International

Allyn International is dedicated to providing high quality, customer centric services and solutions for the global marketplace. Allyn's core products include transportation management, logistics sourcing, freight forwarding, supply chain consulting, tax management and global trade compliance. Allyn clients range from small local businesses to Fortune 500 firms. Allyn conducts business in more than 20 languages and has extensive experience in both developed and emerging markets. Highly trained experts are positioned throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Allyn’s regional headquarters are strategically located in Fort Myers, Florida, U.S.A., Shanghai, P.R. China, Prague, Czech Republic, and Dubai, U.A.E. For more information, visit


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