U.S. Government Publishes Procedures for Seeking Product Exclusions from Tariffs on Chinese Products

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has established procedures for requesting an exclusion from tariffs being imposed on certain products from China. The request only applies to products on the “Round 1” tariff list covering $34 billion worth of goods at 25% tariffs which were imposed July 6. The proposed Round 2 tariffs covering $16 billion of goods at 25%, and Round 3 tariffs covering $200 billion at 10% have not yet been finalized. They could be imposed as early as October.

Quick Reference Guide to Tariffs on Chinese Products

President Trump directed the U.S. government to impose 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. The tariffs are an attempt to lower the U.S./China trade deficit and to deter cybertheft of intellectual property by Chinese government and companies. The USTR has created two lists for products covered under the tariffs.

1. On July 6, customs began collecting duties on about $34 billion worth of products under the 818 Harmonized Tariff Code listings. The subject product list includes miscellaneous metal and rubber parts for auto equipment, machinery, tools, measurement and medical devices. This list is subject to exclusion requests.

2. The USTR has not yet finalized the second list covering the other $16 billion worth of products. The list covers 284 tariff categories, including many types of plastics.

3. President Trump is also threatening 10% tariffs on another $200 billion worth of products. The tariffs could be imposed as early as October. The initial list covers hundreds of consumer products from fish to furniture and apparel. It includes many auto parts, from engines and metal fasteners to tires, steering wheel components, rubber gaskets, transmission belts, brake pads, windshields and suspension springs. The deadline for submitting comments on the third round of tariffs is August 17, 2018.

SEMA opposes the Chinese tariffs, along with steel/aluminum tariffs and threatened tariffs on imported autos/parts as misplaced and having the potential to impose significant harm on U.S. businesses and consumers. While it is important to identify and challenge unfair trade practices, tariffs are a form of taxation that lead to unintended trade retaliation and loss of American jobs. 

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at