On August 3, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued a Federal Register notice seeking public comment on whether extensions for up to 12 months should be granted for particular products receiving exclusions from the Section 301 25 percent tariff on imports from China with an annual trade value of $34 billion (List/Tranche 1). These product exclusions are set to expire on October 2, 2020, and were granted in the following Federal Register notices:
- 84 Fed Reg 52567 (October 2, 2019);
- 84 Fed Reg 69016 (December 17, 2019); and
- 85 Fed Reg 7816 (February 11, 2020).
The USTR states that it will evaluate the possible extension of each exclusion on a case-by-case basis. The focus of the evaluation will be “whether, despite the first imposition of these additional duties in July 2018, the particular product remains available only from China.” These issues should be addressed in any comments:
- The availability of the particular product and/or a comparable product from sources in the United States and/or in third countries.
- Any changes in the global supply chain since July 2018 as to the particular product or any other relevant industry developments.
- Any efforts undertaken by importers or U.S. purchasers since July 2018 to source the product from the United States or third countries.
- The severe economic harm to the commenter or other U.S. interests resulting from the imposition of additional duties on the products covered by the exclusion.
As with past extension requests, the USTR also requests certain financial data (where appropriate), including the value and quantity of the excluded product purchased from China, from domestic sources and from third country sources in 2018 and 2019.
The USTR is seeking public comments from interested parties on whether to extend any particular exclusion for up to 12 months. The period for comment runs from August 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020. Comments must be submitted on the public docket on USTR’s web portal at https://comments.USTR.gov under Docket No. USTR-2020-0030 – Section 301 – China $34 Billion Trade Action (List 1). New users will first have to create an account in order to submit comments. For parties wishing to include Business Confidential Information (BCI), the USTR notes that such information will not be publicly available when comments are posted on the docket. Parties may also upload supporting documents that can also be marked as public or BCI.