Growing Demand for Allowing Tariff Exclusions from Section 301 List 3

October 26, 2018

A Congressional sign on letter is circulating calling on the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) to create an exclusion process for products affected by List 3 of the Section 301 China import tariffs. The letter is part of an expanding campaign that includes AAEI and the Americans for Free Trade coalition.

The letter was started by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who is collecting co-signers among his fellow Senators. They plan to list the companies that they are hearing from with regard to the need for product exclusions.

As the letter states, List 3, which is the latest round of tariffs imposed on Chinese imports under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, covers 6,000 tariff lines– almost double that of all other tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration. But unlike the other tariffs, currently there is no exclusion process for the affected products. And as of January 1, 2019, the tariffs will likely increase from 10% to 25%.

“There is no doubt that China deploys aggressive economic and industrial policies, in part by breaking international norms and violating the rule of the law,” Sen. Toomey’s letter states. However, “Section 301 tariffs are direct taxes paid by U.S. importers, and are passed through as added costs to U.S.-based manufacturers and American consumers. Further, the section 301 tariffs have caused significant indirect harm in the form of retaliatory tariffs imposed by China on U.S. exports, including on numerous agricultural products.

“American manufacturers should have access to a tariff exemption process so they can continue to source components and materials from China, particularly when there is no alternate supplier.”

AAEI encourages members to contact their Senators to sign the letter and ask the Senator to include their company name on the letter. Sen. Toomey plans to close the letter at the end of the week, on Friday, November 2.