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Client Alert – USTR Announces Details of Section 301 List 4A Exclusion Request Process and Deadline of January 31, 2020

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) has published the details of the Section 301 tariff exclusion request process for List 4A products, which constitute a subset of certain Chinese origin products worth $300 billion annually known as Tranche 4. Tranche 4 was divided into two phases of implementation, with additional tariffs of 15% imposed on List 4A products as of September 1, 2019 and scheduled to begin for List 4B products on December 15, 2019. The products falling under List 4A and List 4B can be found here. Exclusion requests for List 4A products may be submitted beginning on October 31, 2019 and must be submitted no later than January 31, 2020. Approved exclusion requests will be retroactive to September 1, 2019 and valid until September 1, 2020. If List 4B goes into effect as scheduled on December 15, 2019, it is anticipated that an exclusion request process for List 4B will be announced soon thereafter.

The exclusion request process for List 4A is very similar to the List 3 process in that submissions will be input into the USTR’s electronic portal at and 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 will cause severe economic harm to the requester or other U.S. 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, as well as certain financial and product cost data for 2017, 2018 and the first half of 2019, the value of imports falling under Lists 1, 2 and 3 for which an exclusion request was previously submitted, and a discussion of any attempts to source from the U.S. or elsewhere. Much of this information may be submitted as Business Confidential Information, although a public summary is often required. New to the List 4A exclusion request process are specific questions regarding the applicability of any antidumping or countervailing duty orders and the number of employees potentially adversely affected by the tariffs.

Once an exclusion request is publicly posted in the USTR portal, interested parties have 14 days to post public responses in support or opposition. The requestor then has the later of 7 days after the close of the 14 day response period or 7 days after the posting of a response to submit a reply. We have found that letters of support from local politicians and economic development agencies are often helpful.

The Cohen & Grigsby International Trade Group has prepared numerous exclusion requests for Chinese origin products subject to Section 301 tariffs falling under Lists 1, 2 and 3 and has seen mostly favorable results for our clients. Although the process tends to be 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 by visiting To receive future client alerts, please send an e-mail to

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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