Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Notice of product exclusions.
Effective July 6, 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative (Trade Representative) imposed additional duties on goods of China with an annual trade value of approximately $34 billion (the $34 billion action) as part of the action in the Section 301 investigation of China's acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. The Trade Representative's determination included a decision to establish a product exclusion process. The Trade Representative initiated the exclusion process in July 2018, and stakeholders have submitted requests for the exclusion of specific products. In December 2018, the Trade Representative granted an initial set of exclusion requests. This notice announces the Trade Representative's determination to grant additional exclusion requests, as specified in the Annex to this notice. The Trade Representative will continue to issue decisions on pending requests on a periodic basis.
The product exclusions announced in this notice will apply as of the July 6, 2018 effective date of the $34 billion action, and will extend for one year after the publication of this notice. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will issue instructions on entry guidance and implementation.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
For general questions about this notice, contact Assistant General Counsels Philip Butler or Megan Grimball, or Director of Industrial Goods Justin Hoffmann at (202) 395-5725. For specific questions on customs classification or implementation of the product exclusions identified in the Annex to this notice, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For background on the proceedings in this investigation, please see the prior notices issued in the investigation, including 82 FR 40213 (August 23, 2017), 83 FR 14906 (April 6, 2018), 83 FR 28710 (June 20, 2018), 83 FR 33608 (July 17, 2018), 83 FR 38760 (August 7, 2018), and 83 FR 40823 (August 16, 2018), 83 FR 47974 (September 21, 2018), 83 FR 65198 (December 19, 2018), 83 FR 67463 (December 28, 2018), and 84 FR 7966 (March 5, 2019).
Effective July 6, 2018, the Trade Representative imposed additional 25 percent duties on goods of China classified in 818 8-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), with an approximate annual trade value of $34 billion. See 83 FR 28710. The Trade Representative's determination included a decision to establish a process by which U.S. stakeholders may request exclusion of particular products classified within an 8-digit HTSUS subheading covered by the $34 billion action from the additional duties. The Trade Representative issued a notice setting out the process for the product exclusions, and opening a public docket. See 83 FR 32181 (the July 11 notice).
Under the July 11 notice, requests for exclusion had to identify the product subject to the request in terms of the physical characteristics that distinguish the product from other products within the relevant 8-digit subheading covered by the $34 billion action. Requestors also had to provide the 10-digit subheading of the HTSUS most applicable to the particular product requested for exclusion, and could submit information on the ability of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to administer the requested exclusion. Requestors had to provide the quantity and value of the Chinese-origin product that the requestor purchased in the last three years. With regard to the rationale for the requested exclusion, requests had to address the following factors:
- Whether the particular product only is available from China and specifically whether the particular product and/or a comparable product is available from sources in the United States and/or third countries.
- Whether the imposition of additional duties on the particular product would cause severe economic harm to the requestor or other U.S. interests.
- Whether the particular product is strategically important or related to “Made in China 2025” or other Chinese industrial programs.
The July 11 notice stated that the Trade Representative would take into account whether an exclusion would undermine the objective of the Section 301 investigation.
The July 11 notice required submission of requests for exclusion from the $34 billion action no later than October 9, 2018, and noted that the Trade Representative would periodically announce decisions. In December 2018, the Trade Representative granted an initial set of exclusion requests. See 83 FR 67463. The Trade Representative regularly updates the status of each pending request and posts the status at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/request-exclusion.
B. Determination To Grant Certain Exclusions
Based on the evaluation of the factors set out in the July 11 notice, which are summarized above, pursuant to sections 301(b), 301(c), and 307(a) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, and in accordance with the advice of the interagency Section 301 Committee, the Trade Representative has determined to grant the product exclusions set out in the Annex to this notice. The Trade Representative's determination also takes into account advice from advisory committees and any public comments on the pertinent exclusion requests.
As set out in the Annex to this notice, the exclusions are established in two different formats: (1) As an exclusion of an existing 10-digit subheading from within an 8-digit subheading covered by the $34 billion action, or (2) as an Start Printed Page 11153exclusion reflected in specially prepared product descriptions. In particular, the exclusions take the form of three 10-digit HTSUS subheadings, and 30 specially prepared product descriptions.
In accordance with the July 11 notice, the exclusions are available for any product that meets the description in the Annex, regardless of whether the importer filed an exclusion request. Further, the scope of each exclusion is governed by the scope of the 10-digit headings and product descriptions in the Annex to this notice, and not by the product descriptions set out in any particular request for exclusion.
The exclusions in the Annex cover approximately 87 separate exclusion requests: The excluded 10-digit subheadings cover 24 separate requests, and the 30 specially drafted product descriptions cover approximately 63 separate requests.
Paragraph B of the Annex to this notice corrects a typographical error in U.S. note 20(h)(ix) to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, as set out in the Annex of the notice published at 83 FR 67463 (December 28, 2018).
As stated in July 11 Notice, the exclusions will apply as of the July 6, 2018 effective date of the $34 billion action, and extend for one year after the publication of this notice. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will issue instructions on entry guidance and implementation.
The Trade Representative will continue to issue determinations on pending requests on a periodic basis.
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Stephen P. Vaughn,
General Counsel, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
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[FR Doc. 2019-05588 Filed 3-22-19; 8:45 am]
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