On October 8, 2021, Ashley Craig was quoted in Law360 on the Biden administration’s restart of a process to secure exclusions from tariffs on Chinese goods.
According to the article, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced that she would reinstate the tariff exclusion process that allows importers to avoid paying levies on Chinese goods that are not sufficiently available from other sources. The announcement gave a lift to importers, which have been pressing the government to reinstate the exclusion process for months. But a subsequent notice from Tai's office signaled that the agency is considering exclusions only for the 549 products that were previously granted extensions, rather than fielding exclusion requests for all Chinese goods subject to tariffs.
Craig noted that in its request for comments on reviving the exclusions for 549 products, USTR asked importers to detail what efforts they have made over the past three years to shift production.
While that is largely seen as simple information-gathering, Craig said he hoped the answers wouldn't be used against importers that may have found some degree of alternative sourcing but would still welcome the ease of importing tariff-free from China.
"If you say, 'I continue to source, but I have shifted to some degree,' is that going to be used against you in terms of requesting a renewal, just because you looked elsewhere?" he said. "I would hope not, but this is very much part of the administration's trade policy with China, which is pretty awful right now in terms of the relationship."
Click here to access the article.