October 26, 2020

Volume X, Number 300


October 26, 2020

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USTR Seeks Public Comments on Possible Extension of Section 301 List 1 Tariff Exclusions

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) has announced that it will accept public comments on the proposed renewal of certain product exclusions granted for the $34 billion in Chinese imports covered under the initial Federal Register notice (“List 1”) on June 20, 2018.

After imposing 25 percent tariffs on these products on July 6, 2018, USTR established a product exclusion process to allow importers to submit detailed requests to exclude certain products from the tariffs. USTR ultimately issued eight tranches of exclusions containing a combined total of 726 product exclusions, each effective for one year from the date of issuance. The first tranche, containing 31 exclusions, was announced on December 28, 2018, is retroactive to July 6, 2018, and is due to expire on December 28, 2019.

In anticipation of this expiration, USTR is soliciting public comments between November 1 and November 30, 2019, regarding whether the December 28 exclusions should be renewed. USTR is requesting the following information:

  • Information regarding the availability of the particular product or a comparable product from sources in the United States or in third countries

  • Any changes in the global supply chain since July 2018 with respect to the particular product, or any other relevant industry developments

  • The efforts, if any, that importers or U.S. purchasers have taken since July 2018 to source the product from the United States or from third countries

  • Whether the reinstatement of Section 301 duties on the products currently covered by product exclusions will result in severe economic harm to the commenter or to other U.S. interests

It is likely that an exclusion will sunset if no comments are submitted to USTR for that particular product. If the exclusions expire, the renewed 25 percent tariffs will be in addition to any existing customs duties and antidumping and countervailing duties.

Companies currently benefitting from product exclusions on List 1 products should consider filing comments in support of renewing the existing exclusions, regardless of whether they filed the original request or were a beneficiary of another company’s request.

© 2020 Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 303



About this Author

Douglass Heffner, International trade lawyer, Drinker Biddle

Douglas J. Heffner litigates customs and international trade matters including antidumping duty, countervailing duty and safeguard cases. He represents foreign companies in Canada, Europe, Japan and Mexico, as well as domestic producers in industries that range from high-tech to heavy industry, to consumer and industrial goods. He also represents trade associations, government agencies and embassies in a broad range of matters.

Nate Bolin, Drinker Biddle Law Firm, Washington DC, Litigation Law Attorney

Nate Bolin has significant experience advising clients in compliance, transactional, litigation, policy and regulatory matters involving U.S. export controls, U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), economic sanctions, and related areas of national security and international trade law.

In corporate transactions and mergers and acquisitions, Nate regularly advises buyers, sellers and investors on the impact of U.S. export controls, customs laws, trade remedy laws, existing bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, and ongoing negotiations of new trade agreements on potential, pending and completed deals. He also counsels clients on strategic use of these laws to grow their businesses and add value to their investments.


(202) 230-5888
Kathleen Murphy, International trade Lawyer, Drinker Biddle

Kathleen M. Murphy counsels clients on maximizing trade benefits, making informed global procurement decisions and developing domestic and international trade compliance programs. She represents clients in duty-recovery initiatives and customs challenges concerning tariff classification, valuation, Free Trade Agreements and country of origin determinations, among other areas. She guides clients through compliance audits and validations, as well as penalty investigations conducted by U.S. or foreign customs authorities. She also represents clients in...

William Rucker, Drinker Biddle Law Firm, International Trade and Customs Specialist

William R. “Randy” Rucker assists clients with all aspects of U.S. Customs law, including the classification and valuation of merchandise, country of origin and marking determinations, quantitative import restraints, duty-preference and savings programs, understanding and receiving the benefits of free trade agreements, compliance audits, enforcement actions and other trade-related matters.

In order to assist clients with their compliance efforts and satisfy "reasonable care" requirements, Randy frequently performs reviews of companies' internal...

James Sawyer, Drinker Biddle Law Firm, Chicago, Trade Law Attorney

James L. Sawyer counsels clients in all areas of U.S. import laws and regulations, including tariff classification, valuation, origin determination and marking, Free Trade Agreements, and duty preference programs. He chairs the firm’s Customs and International Trade Team and is the Regional Partner in Charge of the firm's Chicago office.

James represents clients in enforcement proceedings and investigations, Focused Assessment audits, and other verification proceedings conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). He frequently assists clients craft...