The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has issued a Notice and Request for Comments seeking comment from members of the public, businesses, and government agencies as to whether further modifications are necessary to the China Section 301 tariffs “to keep current on developments in our national fight against the coronavirus pandemic.” USTR states that throughout the Section 301 process “the United States has prioritized health considerations”, has worked with the Department of Health and Human Services to not “impose tariffs on certain critical products such as ventilators, oxygen masks, and nubilators” and, has “granted exclusions for a large number of health-related products”. Nevertheless, it is taking this additional action to assess whether the removal of duties from additional medical care products is necessary.
Submissions are limited to comments on products subject to the tariff actions and relevant to the medical response to the coronavirus. Comments should be filed using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (www.regulations.gov) on Docket No. USTR-2020-0014. USTR is requesting that comments be submitted “promptly” but no later than June 25, 2020. Once posted, any responses to submitted comments should be submitted within three (3) business days in order to be considered. USTR will review comments on a rolling basis. Each comment must include:
- The ten-digit HTS subheading applicable to the product;
- Specifically identify the particular product and “explain precisely how the product relates to the response to the COVID-19 outbreak”;
- Identify the product in terms of its functionality and physical characteristics (e.g., dimensions, material composition, or other characteristics);
Commenters may also provide information regarding the producer, importer, ultimate consumer, or trademarks or tradenames, but USTR notes that “this is less helpful.” USTR has also clarified that comments may be submitted under this docket number even if the product is subject to a pending or previously denied