Updates on Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports

Following is the latest information on this issue.

$300 billion in proposed tariffs on hold

Following the June G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, President Trump put on hold List 4 of the Section 301 tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports to give the two countries more time to discuss a comprehensive trade deal. In return, China agreed to purchase more U.S. farm products, including soybeans. The current Section 301 List 1, 2 and 3 tariffs on $225 of Chinese imports remain in effect.

NAFEM works to remove member products/components from Section 301 List 4 of potential tariffs

Before List 4 of the Section 301 tariffs was placed on hold, NAFEM submitted comments to and presented testimony before the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to advocate for the removal from the list of a long list of material inputs, tools and equipment used by the commercial foodservice equipment industry. In presenting NAFEM’s testimony, Vice President, Regulatory and Technical Affairs Charlie Souhrada explained that, “While List 4 products may be available from other countries, members reply on complex manufacturing chains. Rebuilding these supply chains will consume vital resources and take years to reconfigure. This adds a regulatory burden the administration promised to eliminate a few years ago.”

Exclusion process announced for Section 301 List 3

USTR announced an exclusion process for items on List 3 of the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports. List 3 includes about 6,000 items subject to a 25 percent import tariffs. The USTR created a new online portal for exclusion requests, which must be submitted before Sept. 30. Successful exclusions will be retroactive to Sept. 24, 2018.

Additional List 1 exclusions announced

The USTR announced additional product exclusions to List 1 of the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports. The exclusions, which were requested by NAFEM in written comments, are retroactive to July 6, 2018. Complete details are included in the Federal Register notice.

According to Christine Sohar Henter at NAFEM’s legal counsel Barnes & Thornburg, “The use of product exclusions can be complicated, so we strongly suggest working with a licensed customs broker and/or trade counsel to navigate the specifics of the transactions.”

Among those List 1 items excluded are machines for mixing, kneading, crushing, etc.; parts of industrial ovens; and parts of steam- or other vapor-generating boilers.