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If you import items found on List 3 for Section 301 tariffs from China, you have less than two weeks left to file your tariff exclusion requests. The deadline is September 30, 2019.  No additional windows to file exclusions requests for List 3 have been announced or are anticipated.  

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The online portal that the US Trade Representative created for processing exclusion requests for List 3 is working, but not in the way that many companies hoped. The USTR has denied a majority of the hundreds of List 3 exclusion requests it has decided. The USTR still has thousands of exclusions requests to review and it’s impossible to know if the approval rate will improve, but, from the small batch of rejections, it is clear that companies are just not answering the questions posed to them.

          Let us look at how one particular company fared. As of this morning, the USTR rejected around sixteen of this company’s exclusion requests. The USTR’s denials would seem to make little sense at first blush. This company’s exclusion requests are well written and are supported by impressively-credentialed testimonials. A Congressman submitted a letter in support, but the USTR still denied the exclusion requests. Here is USTR’s official reason for rejecting the exclusion requests: “your request was denied because the request failed to show that the imposition of additional duties on the particular product would cause severe economic harm to you or other U.S. interests.”

          From the supporting testimonials (we do not have access to important confidential information), the company may not have customized its arguments as required. Except for the product description, all of its sixteen tariff exclusion requests are identical. The testimonials are identical. While the testimonials address how the Section 301 tariffs are hurting the company, they do not speak to the impact of the tariffs on the particular product that is the subject of a specific Section 301 tariff exclusion request. Clearly, a cookie-cutter approach does not help.

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Need more info on the best ways and methods for preparing your tariff exclusion requests?  Talk to one of our attorneys at (800) 256-2013, ext. 1 or info@internationaltrade.law.


Trump Gives 2-Week Reprieve on Tariff Increase

The Section 301 tariffs of 25% on List 1, 2, and 3 were scheduled to increase to 30% on October 1, 2019. President Trump tweeted on September 11, 2019, that the increase will be postponed by two weeks. The new date is October 15, 2019. The delay is to allow China and the USA to continue with trade negotiations. The effective date for the 15% tariff on List 4B items continues to be December 15, 2019. The 15% tariff on List 4A took effect on September 1, 2019.  

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