The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has announced that it will begin accepting tariff exclusion requests on October 31, 2019, for imports of Chinese goods subject to a 15 percent tariff (Tranche/List 4 tariffs), which went into effect on September 1, 2019. This list encompasses products on List 4A of approximately $300 billion worth of Chinese products that President Donald Trump previously announced would occur in two phases – September 1 and December 15, 2019. See Trump and Trade Updates of August 1, 2019, August 13, 2019 and August 30, 2019.
As with the List 3 product exclusion request process, exclusion requests are to be submitted via USTR’s online exclusion request processing portal at https://exclusions.ustr.gov/s/. This portal will open at noon on October 31, 2019, and all persons interested in submitting exclusion requests must do so no later than January 31, 2020, when the portal will close. As with all previous exclusion request processes, USTR has stated that each request must identify a particular product and provide supporting data and the rationale for the requested exclusion. Exclusion requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, “taking into account the asserted rationale for the exclusion, whether the exclusion would undermine the objective of the Section 301 investigation, and whether the request defines the product with sufficient precision.” Requesting parties must provide their relationship to the product (Importer, U.S. Producer, Purchaser, Industry Association, Other) and provide specific data on the annual quantity and value of the Chinese-origin product, domestic product and third-country product involved in 2017, 2018 and the first half of 2019. Requesting parties must also provide information regarding their gross revenues for 2018 and the first half of 2019. Any exclusion will be effective for one year, starting from September 1, 2019.