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USTR releases product exclusion process for Chinese products subject to Section 301 tariffs

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with US President Donald Trump Photo: CNN

The United States has released guidance for companies on how to ask for exclusion from newly-imposed tariffs on products made in China.

"The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) today announced a process to obtain product exclusions from the additional tariffs in effect on certain products imported from China under the US response to China's unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of US technology and intellectual property," the USTR said in a press release.

"Today, additional tariffs of 25 percent come into effect for Chinese products imported under 818 tariff lines, covering a trade value of approximately $34 billion in 2018. These tariff lines contain products identified as benefiting from China's industrial policies, including the 'Made in China 2025' program. The list of products subject to tariffs was determined by a 90-day process that included public hearings and a notice and comment period," it added.

"USTR is providing an opportunity for the public to request exclusion of a particular product from the additional duties to address situations that warrant excluding a particular product within a subheading, but not the tariff subheading as a whole."

The exclusion essentially is a move to reduce US losses caused by the trade war between the two economic giants, according to the Global Times.

On the US' so-called list of $34 billion in taxable products, about $20 billion or 59 percent of them, are made by foreign invested enterprises, with American companies representing a significant portion.

Heightened tensions

Tensions between China and the US heightened after the Trump administration slapped 25 percent tariffs on about $34 billion in Chinese machinery, electronics and high-tech equipment including autos, computer hard drives and LEDs and China retaliated immediately by imposing a similar 25 percent tariff on 545 US products, also worth a total of $34 billion.

The Chinese commerce ministry issued a statement on Friday, accusing the US of "launching the biggest trade war in economic history".

It also said China reported the US to the World Trade Organization on Friday for Washington's breach of international trade laws.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to further impose tariffs worth hundreds of billions of dollars on Chinese imports to the US.


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