Trade News Updates
By Margaret Lange
There is never a dull day in Trade Compliance. We continue to see a lot of action related to the Section 301 China tariffs and the potential of new Section 301 tariffs for the EU related to the WTO Large Civil Aircraft dispute and other countries related to digital services taxes.
USTR Grants the Fifth List of Product Exclusions for Tranche 4A
On Monday, June 8th, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued the fifth list of product exclusions from the fourth tranche (List 4A) of Section 301 tariffs on $300 Billion in goods from China. The new exclusions include two (2) 10-digit HTSUS subheadings and 32 specially prepared product descriptions, which together cover 55 separate exclusion requests. The product exclusions apply retroactively to Sept. 1, 2019, the date that List 4A tariffs took effect and extend to Sept. 1, 2020.
USTR Requests Comments Concerning the Extension of Expiring Section 301 Exclusions
List 4A Exclusions Expiring Sept. 2020 – The USTR has posted a request for comments concerning the extension of particular product exclusions granted from the fourth tranche (4A) of the Section 301 tariffs on $300 Billion in imported goods from China. The USTR has granted five separate lists of product exclusions between March 10th and June 12th, which all expire on September 1, 2020.
List 2 Exclusion Expiring Sept. 2020 – On June 25, 2020 the USTR posted a request for comments concerning the extension of particular product exclusions for second list of exclusions granted from the second tranche of the Section 301 tariffs on $16 Billion in imported goods from China. The exclusion will expire on September 20, 2020.
List 2 Exclusions Expiring Oct. 2020 – On June 25, 2020 the USTR posted request for comments concerning the extension of particular product exclusions for the third list of exclusions granted from the second tranche of the Section 301 tariffs on $16 Billion in imported goods from China. The exclusion will expire on October 2, 2020.
Any interested party can submit comments concerning the possible extension of these granted exclusions for up to 12 months. The comment period for each of these lists opened on July 1, 2020, and will close on July 30, 2020.
USTR Considering Additional Products for EU Section 301 Tariffs
On June 26, 2020, the USTR posted a Review of Action related to the WTO Large Civil Aircraft dispute with the European Union. Following an investigation and hearing period, which started in April of 2019, the USTR took action on October 18, 2019 in the form of Section 301 additional tariffs on imports of certain products from the EU listed in Annex of the action. The USTR is now considering modifying the list of products currently subject to the Section 301 action. The USTR has opened a comment period for the interested parties to comment on whether any products on the original list should be removed or whether the rate of duty should be increased up to 100%. Additionally, parties can submit comments on the whether additional duties should be imposed on the additional products listed in Annex II and Annex III of the notice. The comment period opened on June 26, 2020 and will close on July 26, 2020. The docket is entitled “Comments Concerning the Enforcement of U.S. WTO Rights in Large Civil Aircraft Dispute”. Comments are to be submitted on the USTR comment portal: https://comments.ustr.gov/s/.
USTR Initiates Section 301 Investigations of Digital Services Taxes (DST)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced the initiation of investigations into Digital Services Taxes (DST) that either have been adopted or are being considered by nine countries and the European Union. The DST imposes taxes on the revenue generated from providing certain digital services, which the USTR believes target large, U.S.-based tech companies. The investigations will be conducted under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act and could result in additional tariffs on goods imported from the subject countries. The Federal Register notice provides details of the investigations as well as information on how members of the public can submit comments related to the investigation.
Travel Restrictions Extended for Canada and Mexico
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the extension of its temporary limit to travel of individuals from Canada and Mexico at land ports of entry through July 21, 2020. The travel restrictions are limited to “essential travel” and does not apply to cargo or crossing the border from Canada or Mexico to work in the U.S.