Congress Appropriates Funding for Section 301 and Section 232 Exclusion Process:
Exclusion Process for Section 301 List 3 products Mandated
As the March 2 deadline for a potential increase in the List 3 tariffs approach, the recently passed appropriations bill provides for some possible relief to those currently dealing with the 10% tariffs.
Under the bill, Congress has mandated the USTR’s office to implement an exclusion process for products covered by List 3. USTR Robert Lighthizer had previously indicated that no exclusion process would be allowed for products on List 3 unless the tariffs were raised to 25% on March 2.
However, now the USTR’s office is tasked with implementing an exclusion process within 30 days from the date of the bill’s enactment. This process should be similar to the ones currently in place for the List 1 and List 2 products. Additional funding has been provided to the USTR’s office. The process for granting exclusions for products on List 1 and List 2 has been lengthy.
In addition, the USTR must report to the Congressional committees no later than 30 days after enactment of the Act on the status of the exclusion process.
As talks between the U.S. and China continue this week, we can hope for another delay in a potential increase and look forward to an exclusion process for those currently importing products on List 3.
In addition, the bill also appropriates additional funding to the Bureau of Industry and Security specifically earmarked for an “effective Section 232 exclusion process.” The Department shall provide quarterly reports to the Committees, due not later than 15 days after the end of each quarter, on the implementation of the exclusion process, which shall include: (a) the number of exclusion requests received; (b) the number of exclusion requests approved and denied; (c) the status of efforts to assist small- and medium-sized businesses in navigating the exclusion process; (d) Department-wide staffing levels for the exclusion process, including information on any staff detailed to complete this task; and (e) Department-wide funding by source appropriation and object class for costs undertaken to process the exclusions.
As there does not appear to be any relief in sight for the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum products, this is hopefully a positive step for companies looking for relief from these tariffs.
If you have questions, please contact your BOC Representative.