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Exclusions on current Section 301 Tariffs announced by USTR.

The US Trade Representative (USTR) has concluded its four-year review of the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports. As a result of this review, the USTR has proposed several modifications. Among the changes, there will be an increase in the Section 301 tariffs on various Chinese goods such as semiconductors, electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, critical minerals, and specific medical products. Additionally, the exclusion for bifacial solar panels under Section 201 will be removed.

Furthermore, the temporary duty-free importation of solar cells and modules from Southeast Asia is scheduled to expire on June 6th, 2024. This expiration aligns with the Biden administration’s efforts to address alleged circumvention of anti-dumping and countervailing duties by Southeast Asian producers targeting solar manufacturers from China.

In an interesting development, the USTR is also proposing a new exclusion process specifically targeting machinery used in domestic manufacturing. This proposal includes 19 temporary exclusions for certain solar manufacturing equipment aimed at supporting investment in the US solar industry.

Importers of products made in China should be aware that significant changes to the China 301 duties are imminent, with some Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes impacted as soon as June 14th, 2024. Key points include:

  • The USTR has expired many current exclusions effective June 14th, 2024 (89 FR 46948).
  • Several exclusions have been extended through May 31st, 2025 (89 FR 46948).
  • Many HTS numbers have been added to new China 301 duties, effective on various dates: August 1st, 2024, January 1st, 2025, or January 1st, 2026 (89 FR 46252).
  • An exclusion process specifically for manufacturing equipment needed for US production has not yet been published by the USTR (89 FR 46252).

Navigating these changes may be complex, and it is possible that no new Section 301 tariff exclusions will be available until late this year. The USTR has indicated that exclusions granted through this process will be effective through May 31st, 2025, but has not specified when they will become effective.

Sources:

  • Federal Register, 89 FR 46948
  • Federal Register, 89 FR 46252