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US Reintroduces 352 Chinese Product Exclusions From Tariffs

US Reintroduces 352 Chinese Product Exclusions From Tariffs
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced that it had reintroduced 352 product exclusions from U.S. "Section 301" tariffs on Chinese imports that had already expired. The number of inclusions however was far lower than the 549 exclusions that the UST had been reported to have been previously considering.
The reintroduced product exclusions will be applicable retroactively from Oct. 12, 2021, and will last until Dec. 31, 2022, according to USTR. They cover a wide spectrum of the $370 billion in Chinese imports that US President Donald Trump slapped with punitive tariffs ranging from 7.5 per cent to 25 per cent.
The USTR list includes industrial components including pumps and electric motors, automotive parts and chemicals, backpacks, bicycles, vacuum cleaners, and other consumer products.
On Thursday, a spokesperson for China's commerce ministry said the US decision was helpful to stabilizing the trade flow of those products, and she expected bilateral trade ties would return back to normalcy.
"Amid inflation spikes and challenges to the global economic recovery, we hope the U.S. could scrap all tariffs on Chinese products as soon as possible for the fundamental interests of consumers and producers in China and the U.S.," spokeswoman Shu Jueting told reporters.
To provide relief to certain businesses and retailers, the Trump administration first granted over 2,200 tariff exemptions. The majority of them were allowed to expire, but 549 were extended for a year and will expire at the end of 2020.
As part of her effort to fight China on its trade abuses, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai initiated an assessment in October on whether to reinstate the 549 exclusions.
Since then, a series of virtual talks with her Chinese counterparts has produced little change in China's performance under Trump's "Phase 1" trade agreement with Beijing.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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