On October 18, the United States Trade Representative announced an exclusion process for products included on China Section 301 List 4A, which covers $300 billion of imports. Imported products on this list are presently subject to an additional 15 percent duty, which went into effect September 1, 2019.
Importers of products on List 4A may file exclusion requests with the agency beginning October 31, 2019 through January 31, 2020. Once USTR posts a request, there is a 14-day comment period for interested stakeholders to oppose or support, followed by a 7-day rebuttal period for the requestor to respond. USTR will grant approvals and denials on a rolling basis.
If granted, any importer of a product may utilize an exclusion, which would apply retroactively to the September 1, 2019 effective date. Importers may use an exclusion going forward, and also may seek duty refunds through U.S. Customs and Border Protection. USTR has set a uniform expiration date of September 1, 2020 for List 4A exclusions, regardless of the date they are granted.
The exclusion process does not cover products on List 4B, which are scheduled to be assessed an additional 15 percent duty effective December 15, 2019. Cabinet officials have suggested the President may forgo increasing tariffs on List 4B products pending the outcome of ongoing negotiations with China to address IP violations, forced technology transfer and cyber intrusions.