Despite receiving thousands of requests for exclusions from the additional tariffs imposed by the US on imports from China, the Trump administration has not yet approved any of them – but has denied hundreds, new information shows.
The US Government has levied higher tariffs on Chinese imports in a number of stages following a Section 301 determination that the East Asian country’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory.
The USTR initially imposed a 25% tariff on US$34bn worth of imports from 6 July, with exclusion requests due by 9 October. The tariff was extended to a further $16bn worth of goods from 23 August, for which exclusion requests are being accepted until 18 December.
A 10% additional tariff was imposed on so-called List 3 goods – valued at around $200bn – as of 24 September and is scheduled to increase to 25% on 1 January. This covers all textiles, all travel goods, all hats, and select apparel, accessories, and machinery used in domestic US manufacturing
The USTR has also warned of an as-yet-unspecified tariff hike on an additional $267bn worth of Chinese goods – which would bring apparel exports from China into the spat for the first time – if Beijing “takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries.”
According to spreadsheets made available by USTR, and examined by international trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg (ST&R), more than 7,800 exclusion requests were submitted for List 1 goods. Just over 800 of these have been denied but none have been approved.
The remainder are listed as being at one of four stages: most are still open for public comment, some are undergoing an initial review of whether the request should be granted based on specified criteria, and a relative few are being reviewed with US Customs and Border Protection to determine whether the requested exclusion would be administrable.
Slightly more than 400 exclusion requests have been received and posted for comment for List 2 goods. This number is likely to rise as the 18 December deadline for submitting such requests approaches. Most requests posted to date are still open for public comment, though a handful are already undergoing the substantive review.