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USTR Announces Host of Updates

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has announced several updates on the Section 301 actions against China.

List 3

USTR announced the decision to extend certain exclusions granted for products on List 3 of the Section 301 trade action against China. This announcement only extends 266 out of the nearly 1,000 product exclusions granted on List 3. The original exclusions were announced in 15 separate exclusion notices between August of 2019 and June of 2020. All exclusions granted an extension in this notice will continue to be excluded from the Section 301 duties of 25 percent on List 3 for an additional 5 months, until Dec. 31, 2020.

Product exclusions that have been extended in this notice include 21 entire-subheading exclusions and 245 product-specific exclusions, covering commodities such as rear-view mirrors, furniture, engine parts, electrical products, and various aluminum and steel products. One RV-specific product is included:

(220) Hitches receivers of steel, not suitable for towing applications, each receiver to be clamped onto the rear bumper of a recreational vehicle, such bumpers being square in section and measuring not more than 102 millimeters on a side (described in statistical reporting number 8708.99.8180)

The 700-plus product exclusions that were not granted an extension will no longer be excluded from Section 301 duties and will be subject to the 25 percent duty beginning immediately. The 266 product exclusions extended in this notice apply as of Aug. 7 and extend through Dec. 31, 2020.

List 4A

USTR announced a new round of exclusions for products subject to List 4A of the Section 301 duties on China as well as the opportunity to comment on the extension of this new round of exclusions. Products excluded in this notice consist of 1 entire-subheading exclusion and 9 product-specific exclusions, covering mainly household items.

Additionally, the opportunity to comment on the extension of products granted an exclusion in this notice has already opened. The docket opened August 5, 2020 and will close August 20, 2020. This new opportunity to comment is separate from the previously announced opportunity to comment on List 4A exclusions granted in July of 2020. The deadline for comments on the July List 4A exclusions is August 14.

The exclusions in this notice apply retroactively to goods entered for consumption or withdrawn from warehouse on or after Sept. 1, 2019 and will remain in effect until September 1, 2020. Note that product exclusions are not importer-specific—they are applicable for any importer of the excluded merchandise. The scope of the exclusions is governed by the language of the product descriptions provided by USTR in its list, not by product descriptions shown in any particular exclusion request or HTS classification.

Depending on the entry date, anyone who believes they are eligible for a product exclusion will need to file a post-summary correction or protest of liquidation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to obtain a refund for excluded products that entered U.S. Customs territory on or after Sept. 1, 2019.

List 1

Finally, USTR is currently considering extensions for expiring List 1 exclusions granted in October and December of 2019 and February of 2020. The deadline for comments on the extension of these List 1 exclusions is Aug. 31, 2020. Members can submit comments using USTR’s online portal. USTR has not been granting exclusion extensions absent comments supporting the extension, so members are encouraged to submit comments in support of any product exclusion benefitting themselves or their suppliers.

For more information or to request the Association submit comments on any product, contact Samantha Rocci at srocci@rvia.org.

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