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USTR Issues Data on Section 301 Product Exclusion Requests

Recently released data show that as of 27 September the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative had received and posted 1,632 requests to exclude specific products from the additional tariffs that were imposed 6 July on some US$34 billion worth of mainland Chinese products in response to a Section 301 investigation determination that mainland China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory.

The statistics cover exclusion requests filed for items included in the first tranche of mainland Chinese products. Product exclusion requests for List 2 products (which covers imports worth some US$16 billion) may be filed through 18 December, while an exclusion request process for products included in the recently-announced List 3 (which covers imports worth some US$200 billion) has not been announced and is not expected for the time being.

The data show that no product exclusion requests had yet been approved as of 27 September, while 108 requests had been denied. That said, 25 requests are currently being reviewed to determine whether an exclusion would be administrable by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Requests that pass the administrability test will be granted and published in the Federal Register. An additional 959 requests have already gone through the comment period and are currently undergoing an initial review based on the substantive criteria set out in the product exclusion notice, while the remaining 540 requests are still in the comment phase.

Minnesota-based Arrowhead Electrical Products, a global distributor of rotating electrical parts and components, is the leading filer of List 1 product exclusion requests with a total of 339 requests posted as of 27 September, followed by vehicle electronic components manufacturer Weastec Inc. with 63 requests, Ognibene North America LLC with 56 requests and Sales Driven LLC (doing business as Raybend) with 46 requests.

In terms of tariff lines, needle roller bearings classified under HTSUS 8482.40.0000 lead the way with 117 separate product exclusion requests, followed by single row radial bearings having an outside diameter over 30 mm but not over 52 mm classified under HTSUS 8482.10.5048 with 90 requests, single row radial bearings having an outside diameter over 52 mm but not over 100 mm classified under HTSUS 8482.10.5052 with 71 requests, other switches classified under HTSUS 8536.50.9065 with 59 requests, other linear acting hydraulic power engines and motors classified under HTSUS 8412.21.0075 with 57 requests, and self-contained drinking water coolers classified under HTSUS 8418.69.0120 with 52 requests.

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