ICYMI: USTR Announces Extension of Reinstated Section 301 Exclusions and COVID-Related Exclusions

Last week, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it will extend 352 reinstated exclusions and 77 COVID-related exclusions on goods from China until December 31, 2023. The exclusions refer to additional duties imposed on goods from China pursuant to an earlier Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. 

In December 2022, the agency determined to extend the exclusions and extended them again in May 2023 through September 30, 2023. This latest notice announces the agency’s determination to further extend the exclusions until December 31, 2023.

The announcement states that the goal of this most recent extension is “[t]o provide a transition period for the expiring exclusions and to allow for further consideration under the four-year review.” 

Exclusion Background

In August 2017, USTR initiated an investigation into China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. The agency released a report of its findings in March 2018 and in June 2018 began imposing additional duties on products of China in four tranches. The USTR established a process by which U.S. stakeholders could request the exclusion of particular products subject to additional duties. Starting in November 2019, the agency invited public comments on whether to extend particular expulsions it had granted. Through this process, 352 exclusions […]

Potential Relief from China Tariffs Coming

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

Background on Section 301 Tariffs

A key element of the U.S.-China trade war, initiated under the Trump administration and continuing through Biden’s first term, was the imposition of China tariffs under Section 301. Section 301 is a mechanism via which the President can retaliate against foreign countries that violate U.S. trade agreements or engage in acts that are “unjustifiable” or “unreasonable” and burden U.S. commerce. With regard to China, the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) found that China’s acts, policies, and practices related to intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. Accordingly, a broad set of tariffs were instituted. Section 301 tariffs for goods originating from China have been so expansive that U.S. Customs revenue has nearly doubled from $41.6 billion in FY 2018 to $71.9 billion in FY 2019 and $74.4 billion in FY 2020.


301 Exclusion Extensions for COVID-19 Related Products

On March 10, 2021, via Federal Register Notice ( 86 FR 13785), the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that 99 medical product exclusions will be extended from March 31, 2021, to September 30, 2021. This action extends a previous USTR action which extended these exclusions from December 31, 2020, to March 31, 2020 (85 FR 85831). […]

Proposed 25% Tariffs on Section 301 Digital Service Taxes – Comment Now

Background on Section 301 Digital Service Taxes

In 2020, the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) initiated Section 301 investigations with respect to certain Digital Service Taxes (“DSTs”) being adopted or under consideration by a number of countries. DSTs are taxes on revenues that certain companies generate from providing certain digital services to users in those jurisdictions. According to USTR, available evidence suggests that DSTs are expected to target large, U.S.-based technology companies.

Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974 authorizes the President to take all appropriate action including tariff-based and non-tariff-based retaliation to obtain the removal of any act, policy, or practice of a foreign government that violates an international trade agreement or is unjustified, unreasonable, or discriminatory, and that burdens or restricts U.S. commerce.


USTR Announces China 301 Tariff Exclusion Extensions for COVID-Related Products

On December 29, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced long-awaited extensions to a limited set of previously granted exclusions (for COVID-related products), that were set to expire on December 31, 2020. Meanwhile, importers across non-COVID industries are continuing to await guidance on their tariff exclusion extensions that are set to expire on December 31, 2020.



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