On October 5, 2021, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it is seeking public comments on whether to reinstate previously extended product exclusions for certain imports from China subject to Section 301 tariffs. Of the more than 2,200 product exclusions that were granted by USTR during the administration of President Donald Trump, only 549 were ultimately extended beyond their initial expiration date. With the exception of exclusions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of these product exclusions have now expired. A list of these product exclusions covered by this USTR notice is available here.

As these exclusions were previously found to warrant additional time for being exempt from the additional Section 301 tariffs placed on certain products imported from China, USTR will evaluate, on a case-by-case basis, the possible reinstatement of each exclusion. In doing so, comments in support of, or opposition to, any reinstatement of an extension should address: (i) whether product remains available only from China; (ii) whether the product or a comparable product is available from sources in the United States or from third countries; (iii) any changes in the global supply chains since September 2018 with respect to the product or any other relevant industry developments; (iv) the efforts of the importers or purchasers to source the product from the United States or third countries; and (v) any domestic capacity for producing the product in the United States. In addition, USTR will consider whether 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, and the possible impact of reinstatement of the exclusion on the goal of obtaining the elimination of China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation covered in the Section 301 investigation. USTR is also seeking comments on the appropriate length for any reinstated exclusions. Finally, USTR is requesting the submission of certain business confidential information which will not be released to the public, which includes the value and quantity of the Chinese-origin product covered by the specific exclusion request purchased over the last three years (2019, 2020, first six months of 2021) and a company’s gross revenue in U.S. dollars for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

USTR will accept public comments from October 12 through December 1, 2021. All comments must be submitted via USTR’s online portal at https://comments.ustr.gov. While comments must be submitted via this portal, USTR is offering a sample copy of the “Exclusion Reinstatement Comment Form” as a guide for commenters. Submitted comments will be reviewed by USTR, which will also consult with other agencies as necessary.

Any reinstated product exclusions will be retroactive to October 12, 2021, and apply only to entries that are not liquidated at that time.