The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued another list of product exclusions from Section 301 tariffs on imported goods from China, granting full or partial exemptions in response to 87 separate exclusion requests, according to a pre-publication copy of the notice. The exclusions cover a wide range of products, including, inter alia, certain pumps, impellers, water filters/oxidizers/purifiers, rotors, check valves, bituminous pavers, electric motors and transformers, and flat panel display modules.
The exclusions can apply to any product meeting the description in the annex of the notice, regardless of whether the importer filed an exclusion request. The scope of each exclusion is governed by the scope of the 10-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) headings and product descriptions in the annex; it is not governed by the product description set out in any particular exclusion request. The exclusions apply as of July 6, 2018, which was the implementation date for the first list of imported Chinese products, worth $34 billion, subject to these tariffs, and will extend for one year after the formal publication of this notice in the Federal Register. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will issue instructions on entry guidance and implementation.
In brief remarks to the press on March 21, 2019, President Donald Trump noted that the Section 301 tariffs will remain in place even once the United States and China enter into a trade deal. He stated, “We’re talking about leaving them and for a substantial period of time, because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China, that China lives by the deal. Because they’ve had a lot of problems living by certain deals and we have to make sure.” He added that he and Chinese President Xi are friends and the deal is “coming along nicely” but that the United States is “taking in billions and billions of dollars right now in tariff money. And for a period of time, that will stay.”