Last week, China amended a draft of a proposed foreign-investment law in an effort to address global concern over forced technology transfers. The new law, which bans officials from divulging corporate secrets, was approved by the Chinese legislature on Friday. The amendments were made shortly before the law was put to a vote and are
USTR Announces Section 301 Exclusion Process
On Friday, July 6, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced a process for U.S. interests to obtain product-specific exclusions from tariffs on Chinese imports as a result of the U.S. investigation into, and response to, China’s IP practices (see attached Federal Register notice). The duties, applied under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, took effect on July 6 and cover an annual trade value of approximately $34 billion. In imposing the new tariffs, USTR focused on “products identified as benefiting from China’s industrial policies, including the ‘Made in China 2025’ program.”
A complete list of products – covering 818 tariff lines – currently subject to the new tariffs (at a rate of 25%) is available here. USTR will consider excluding a particular product within a subheading (but not the tariff subheading as a whole) from the tariffs. Note that USTR is currently considering / accepting public comment on an additional 284 proposed tariff lines. Once finalized, the additional tariffs will likely be accompanied by a similar exclusion process.
In announcing the exclusion process, USTR indicated it received comments that specific products “were only available from China, that imposition of additional duties on the specific products would cause severe economic harm to a U.S. interest, and that the specific products were not strategically important or related to the ‘Made in China 2025’ program.” The new exclusion process was designed to address those concerns.
USTR will accept requests from all interested persons, including trade associations. Each request must specifically identify a particular product and provide supporting data as well as the rationale for the exclusion request. Entities wishing to exclude more than one product must submit a separate request for each product.
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