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Client Alert – USTR Announces Details of Section 301 List 3 Exclusion Request Process

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) has published the details of the Section 301 tariff exclusion request process for certain Chinese origin products worth $200 billion annually, the so-called List 3 products. Exclusion requests for List 3 products may be submitted beginning on June 30, 2019 and must be submitted no later than September 30, 2019. Approved exclusion requests will be valid for one year from the date of publication in the Federal Register and retroactive to September 24, 2018, the effective date of the Section 301 additional tariffs of 10% on List 3 products that were subsequently raised to 25% on May 10, 2019.

As with exclusion requests for List 1 and List 2, exclusion requests for List 3 will be evaluated based upon whether the product (1) is available only from China and if comparable products can be sourced in the United States or other countries, (2) whether the additional duties cause severe economic harm to the requester or other US interests, and (3) whether the product is strategically important or related to the “Made in China 2025” or other Chinese industrial program. A specific description of the product, its principal use and HTSUS code will be required. In addition, the following information regarding the product will be needed: purchase amounts and quantities from China, the U.S. and other sources for 2017, 2018 and Q1 of 2019, company gross revenues for 2018 full year, 2018 Q1 and 2019 Q1, cost data related to the finished product that it is incorporated into, total dollar value of imports falling under List 1 and List 2, and a discussion of any attempts to source from the U.S. or elsewhere. We have found that letters of support from local politicians and economic development agencies are also helpful.

List 3 exclusion requests will not be submitted via Regulations.gov as with List 1 and List 2 but rather through a new web portal created by the USTR. As before, once publicly posted, interested parties will have 14 days to object and then the requester will have 7 days to respond to any objections. Other new features are that certain requested information will be optional and much of the information that is provided will automatically be treated as confidential.

The Cohen International Trade Group has managed exclusion requests for Chinese origin products subject to Section 301 tariffs falling under List 1 and List 2 and has seen mostly favorable results for our clients. Although the process is slow, the USTR seems to fairly evaluate the submissions in accordance with the stated criteria. If you have any questions about any of the above information, or wish to discuss a particular matter, please feel free to speak with any member of our International Business Practice by calling us at 412-297-4900 or visiting https://www.cohenlaw.com/practices/international-business. To receive future client alerts, please send an e-mail to bulletins@cohenlaw.com.

This information is accurate at the time of distribution and is subject to changes made by the administration. We will provide updates as they occur.

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