The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) on Wednesday, March 23, announced 352 goods of Chinese imports to be exempted from the 2018 “Section 301” levies.
USTR said the waivers would take effect on October 12, 2021, and will last through the end of this year.
According to Reuters, imported products that can avoid the levies range from industrial components like pumps and electric motors to auto parts, medical equipment such as X-ray hardware, backpacks, bicycles, vacuum cleaners, and other consumer products.
The 352 products are a selection from the 549 ones that U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai launched a review last October to see if their exclusions should be reinstated. The items had enjoyed another year of exemption from the 7% to 25% tariffs before the waivers lapsed at the end of 2020.
The USTR has consulted companies on aspects such as if the impacted commodities could be purchased from countries other than China, if product procurement had been affected by global supply chain changes, and if the products could be manufactured domestically. Advice from the White House’s COVID-19 response team was also sought.
The 352 goods announced on Wednesday make up a modest percentage of the total spectrum of 370 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports, to which Section 301 tariffs apply.
Washington initially cut some of the tariffs as part of the Phase 1 trade deal where China pledged to purchase more American products. In February, the USTR said China had not kept up with its commitment.