On December 26, 2023, in an as of yet unpublished Federal Register notice, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced its intention to extend the existing China 301 exclusions (otherwise scheduled to expire on December 31, 2023) until May 31, 2024.
At issue are two sets of exclusions. The first set consists of the 77 currently applicable COVID-related exclusions. The second set consists of 352 exclusions that had been reinstated (and extended) by the USTR. Further information on the specific impacted exclusions can be found here.
In its notice, the USTR also announces the opening of a public docket, for the solicitation of comments on whether to further extend the above 429 exclusions. The public docket will be open from January 22, 2024 through February 21, 2024. USTR’s evaluation of whether to further extend a particular exclusion will take into account such factors as:
- the availability of products covered by the exclusion from sources outside of China;
- efforts undertaken to source the excluded product from the U.S. or third countries;
- why additional time is needed;
- on what timeline, if any, the sourcing of the product is likely to shift outside of China; and,
- whether or not extending the exclusion will impact U.S. interests, including the overall impact of the exclusion on the goal of obtaining the elimination of China’s acts, policies and practices covered in the Section 301 investigation.
While the above actions are being taken as part of the USTR’s China 301 four-year review, the Notice provides no insight as to the potential outcome of such review or the broader future of the China 301 tariffs.