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Tariff Exclusion Procedure Deadline for Chinese Goods

August 6, 2018
Business Law Blog Post

Chinese shipping containersThe U.S. Trade Representative is inviting individuals and companies affected by the proposed Chinese tariffs to request an exclusion, request an appearance at the public hearing, and/or submit a comment.

Varnum attorneys are well-versed in international trade law and the current and proposed tariffs on products from China. Varnum is, and has been, submitting hearing requests, exclusion requests, and comments on behalf of clients and is also able to appear at the upcoming public hearing to advocate any client concerns. Please read below for upcoming deadlines to consider.

Initial Tariffs and Exclusion Request Deadline

On August 18, 2017, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) commenced an investigation into certain acts, policies, and practices of the Chinese government regarding its trade practices—finding China's trade practices discriminatory and unreasonable. On June 20, 2018, the USTR issued a notice that an additional 25 percent ad valorem duty on products from China with an annual trade value of $34 billion would go into effect on July 6, 2018. The USTR issued another proposed action for an additional ad valorem duty of 25 percent on products of China with an annual trade value of $16 billion.

In regards to the tariffs that went into effect on July 6, 2018, the USTR is currently accepting requests for exclusions of particular product(s). Given the 25 percent increase in tariffs, a successful exclusion of an effected product will likely result in significant savings. The deadline to submit a request for exclusion expires on October 9, 2018. However, based on conversations with the USTR, exclusions are being considered on a rolling basis—therefore prompt submissions are strongly recommended.

China's Response, Additional Tariffs, and Hearing Requests and Comment Deadlines

The Chinese government responded to the initial U.S. tariffs by imposing a 25 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. goods with an annual trade value of $50 billion. In response and in addition to the initial $34 billion and $16 billion action, USTR proposes a further 10 percent ad valorem duty on products of China with an annual trade value of approximately $200 billion. Most recently, China threatened to impose taxes on an additional $60 billion of imports annually, which would subject a total of two-fifths of U.S. products to China to tariffs. President Trump has requested that the USTR evaluate moving the tariff level from 10 percent to 25 percent on the approximately 200 billion in light of the Chinese tariff response.

USTR is currently accepting requests to appear at the upcoming public hearing and/or submit a comment with respect to the new proposed Chinese tariffs. Appearing at the public hearing and/or submitting a comment provides interested individuals and/or companies with an opportunity to address the economic impact of the tariffs on the company. Once again, given the proposed tariff increases and the potential for another increase, comments on the impact of the tariffs and/or a successful removal of an item(s) will be helpful to achieve significant cost savings.

The deadline to submit a request to appear at the public hearing has been extended from July 27 to August 13, 2018. The deadline to submit a written comment has been extended from August 17 to September 5, 2018. The current scheduled start date of the Section 301 hearing is 9:30 am on August 20, 2018 at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington D.C.

Contact Varnum to File a Request for an Exclusion, Request an Appearance at the Public Hearing, and/or Comment

For questions regarding these recent developments, or if you would like to explore submitting a request for exclusion, a request to appear at the public hearing and/or comment, please contact Varnum attorney Dennis Devaney at 248/567-7825. Dennis has recently been nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as a Commissioner on the U.S. International Trade Commission and has significant experience with international trade law.

For questions regarding the scope of the items covered by the current and proposed Chinese tariffs, please contact Varnum attorneys Tim Eagle at 616/336-6537, Eric Post at 616/336-6569, Katie Roskam at 616/336-6494 or Dena Shuayto at 313/481-7321.

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