The Coalition of Trade and Customs Groups is calling on the General Administration of Customs to extend the exclusions from the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports that expire in November. During a letter to USTR Katherine Tai dated Oct. 4, the coalition urged the agency to announce it’s plans for these exclusions as soon as possible so that companies can plan accordingly. Earlier this year, the USTR reinstated 352 exclusions retroactively to October 12, 2021, allowing importers of covered goods to seek refunds regardless of whether they requested the original exclusion.
As of Dec. 31, these exclusions remain in effect. To address the COVID-19 pandemic, USTR extended exclusions for 81 medical care products through Nov. 30.
The coalition mentioned that U.S. agencies must make supply chain and sourcing selections months in advance and that within the absence of any USTR announcement about the destiny of the exclusions they may be having to “incorporate 25 percent rate increases into product strains that could quickly be without a section 301 tariff exclusion.” This upward pricing pressure “will exacerbate inflation in an economic system already teetering on the edge of stagflation,” the letter stated, “leaving purchasers – and specifically low-income purchasers – with reduced purchasing strength and setting more goods out of their attain.”
The coalition therefore requested that USTR not only renew all of the exclusions that are scheduled to expire in the coming year, but to also “create a process for exclusions that includes all products covered by the China 301 tariffs.” In the coalition’s opinion, this will be beneficial for U.S. businesses, particularly those that import goods for which there is no domestic or alternative source of supply.