On December 16th, the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) extended 352 exclusions which exclude certain products from the additional duties caused by the Section 301 actions taken against imports from China. These exclusions were scheduled to expire on December 31, 2022 but will now extend until September 30, 2023. USTR reinstated these 352 exclusions in an FR notice published on March 28, 2022 following their expiration during the previous administration.
The list of exclusions covers a wide-array of products from List 1 to List 4 and multiple industries. Products of interest include certain DC electric motors, heat exchanger plates, rubber tracks for use in construction equipment, rotary switches, air purification equipment, artificial graphite, duffel bags, and portable electric heaters. With the exception of the COVID exclusions currently valid until February 28, 2023, these 352 exclusions represent the only active exclusions at this time. Although members of Congress expressed interest in restarting the Section 301 exclusion process, the effort has been opposed by USTR and does not look likely for at least the near future.
Since requesting new exclusions has not been an available option since early 2020, importers looking for Section 301 relief currently have their eyes on the Section 301 4-year review comment process as perhaps the only means to have products removed from Section 301 tariffs in the future. USTR is soliciting comments on the effectiveness of the China tariffs at individual HTS levels, which leaves that possibility that USTR may raise, lower, or eliminate the tariff levels of certain goods as a result of their 4-year review. Interested parties that wish to remove or increase duty levels for their products should consider filing comments on the USTR website. The docket for submitting comments opened on November 15, 2022, and will close on January 17, 2023.