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Notice

Request for Comments Concerning the Extension of Particular Exclusions Granted Under the $200 Billion Action Pursuant to Section 301: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation

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AGENCY:

Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

Effective September 24, 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative imposed additional duties on goods of China with an annual trade value of approximately $200 billion 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 U.S. Trade Representative initiated an exclusion process for the $200 billion action in June 2019 and issued 14 product exclusion notices under this action. The product exclusions granted under these notices are scheduled to expire on August 7, 2020. The U.S. Trade Representative previously decided to consider a possible extension for up to 12 months of particular exclusions granted under the initial 11 product exclusion notices and has now decided to consider a possible extension for up to 12 months of particular exclusions granted under the remaining product exclusion notices. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) invites public comment on whether to extend particular exclusions.

DATES:

June 8, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. ET: The public docket on the web portal at https://comments.USTR.gov will open for parties to submit comments on the possible extension of particular exclusions.

July 7, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET: To be assured of consideration, submit written comments on the public docket by this deadline.

ADDRESSES:

You must submit all comments through the online portal: https://comments.USTR.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Associate General Counsel Philip Butler or Assistant General Counsel Benjamin Allen at (202) 395-5725.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

For background on the proceedings in this investigation, please see prior notices including 82 FR 40213 (August 24, 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), 83 FR 47974 (September 21, 2018), 83 FR 49153 (September 28, 2018), 83 FR 65198 (December 19, 2018), 84 FR 7966 (March 5, 2019), 84 FR 20459 (May 9, 2019), 84 FR 29576 (June 24, 2019), 84 FRN 38717 (August 7, 2019), 84 FR 46212 (September 3, 2019), 84 FR 49591 (September 20, 2019), 84 FR 57803 (October 28, 2019), 84 FR 61674 (November 13, 2019), 84 FR 65882 (November 29, 2019), 84 FR 69012 (December 17, 2019), 85 FR 549 (January 6, 2020), 85 FR 6674 (February 5, 2020), 85 FR 9921 (February 20, 2020), 85 FR 15015 (March 16, 2020), 85 FR 17158 (March 26, 2020), 85 FR 23122 (April 24, 2020), 85 FR 27489 (May 8, 2020), and 85 FR 32094 (May 28, 2020).

Effective September 24, 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative imposed additional 10 percent duties on goods of China classified in 5,757 full and partial subheading of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) with an approximate annual trade value of $200 billion. See 83 FR 47974, as modified by 83 FR 49153. In May 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative increased the additional duty to 25 percent. See 84 FR 20459. On June 24, 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative established a process by which U.S. stakeholders could request exclusion of particular products classified within an eight-digit HTSUS subheading covered by the $200 billion action from the additional duties. See 84 FR 29576 (the June 24 notice).

The June 24 notice required submission of requests for exclusion from the $200 billion action no later than September 30, 2019, and noted that the U.S. Trade Representative periodically would announce decisions. As of May 28, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative has issued 14 notices of product exclusions under the $200 billion action. These exclusions are scheduled to expire on August 7, 2020.

B. Possible Extensions of Particular Product Exclusions

On May 6, 2020, USTR requested comments concerning the possible extension for up to 12 months of particular exclusions granted under the initial 11 product exclusion notices under the $200 billion action. See 85 FR 27011 (the May 6 notice). The U.S. Trade Representative has now decided to consider a possible extension for up to 12 months of particular exclusions granted under the final three product exclusion notices under the $200 billion action. Accordingly, USTR invites public comments on whether to extend particular exclusions granted under the following notices of product exclusions:

Comments on exclusions granted under the initial 11 product exclusion notices will not be considered on this docket and must be submitted according to the May 6 notice on Docket Number USTR-2020-0015. For exclusions amended or corrected by a later issued notice, parties should provide their extension comments on the docket corresponding to the initial notice of product exclusions.

USTR will evaluate the possible extension of each exclusion on a case-by-case basis. The focus of the evaluation will be whether, despite the first imposition of these additional duties in September 2018, the particular product remains available only from China. In addressing this factor, commenters should address specifically:

  • Whether the particular product and/or a comparable product is available from sources in the United States and/or in third countries.
  • Any changes in the global supply chain since September 2018 with respect to the particular product or any other relevant industry developments.
  • The efforts, if any, the importers or U.S. purchasers have undertaken since September 2018 to source the product from the United States or third countries.

In addition, USTR will continue to consider whether the imposition of additional duties on the products covered by the exclusion will result in severe economic harm to the commenter or other U.S. interests.

C. Procedures To Comment on the Extension of Particular Exclusions

To submit a comment regarding the extension of a particular exclusion granted under the above referenced product exclusion notices under the $200 billion action, commenters first must register on the portal at https://comments.USTR.gov. As noted above, the public docket on the portal will be open from June 08, 2020, to July 7, 2020. After registration, the commenter may submit an exclusion extension comment form to the public docket.

Fields on the comment form marked with an asterisk (*) are required fields. Fields with a gray (BCI) notation are for business confidential information and the information entered will not be publicly available. Fields with a green (public) notation will be publicly Start Printed Page 34280available. Additionally, parties will be able to upload documents and indicate whether the documents are BCI or public. Commenters will be able to review the public version of their comments before they are posted.

In order to facilitate the preparation of comments prior to the June 8 opening of the public docket, a facsimile of the exclusion extension comment form to be used on the portal is annexed to this notice. Please note that the color-coding of the public and BCI fields is not visible on the annex, but will be apparent on the actual comment form used on the portal.

Set out below is a summary of the information to be entered on the exclusion extension comment form.

  • Contact information, including the full legal name of the organization making the comment, whether the commenter is a third party (e.g., law firm, trade association, or customs broker) submitting on behalf of an organization or industry, and the name of the third party organization, if applicable.
  • The number for the exclusion on which you are commenting as provided in the annex of the Federal Register notice granting the exclusion and the description. For descriptions, amended or corrected by a later issued notice of product exclusions, parties should use the amended or corrected description.
  • Whether the product or products covered by the exclusion are subject to an antidumping or countervailing duty order issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • Whether you support or oppose extending the exclusion and an explanation of your rationale. Commenters must provide a public version of their rationale, even if the commenter also intends to submit a more detailed BCI rationale.
  • Whether the products covered by the exclusion or comparable products are available from sources in the U.S. or in third countries. Please include information concerning any changes in the global supply chain since September 2018 with respect to the particular product.
  • The efforts you have undertaken since September 2018 to source the product from the United States or third countries.
  • The value and quantity of the Chinese-origin product covered by the specific exclusion request purchased in 2018 and 2019. Whether these purchases are from a related company, and if so, the name of and relationship to the related company.
  • Whether Chinese suppliers have lowered their prices for products covered by the exclusion following the imposition of duties.
  • The value and quantity of the product covered by the exclusion purchased from domestic and third country sources in 2018 and 2019.
  • If applicable, the commenter's gross revenue for 2018 and 2019.
  • Whether the Chinese-origin product of concern is sold as a final product or as an input.
  • Whether the imposition of duties on the products covered by the exclusion will result in severe economic harm to the commenter or other U.S. interests.
  • Any additional information in support of or in opposition to extending the exclusion.

Commenters also may provide any other information or data that they consider relevant.

D. Submission Instructions

To be assured of consideration, you must submit your comment between the opening of the public docket on the portal on June 08, 2020 and the July 07, 2020 submission deadline. Parties seeking to comment on more than one exclusion must submit a separate comment for each exclusion.

By submitting a comment, the commenter certifies that the information provided is complete and correct to the best of their knowledge.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and its implementing regulations, the Office of Management and Budget has assigned control number 0350-0015, which expires January 31, 2023.

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Joseph Barloon,

General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative.

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[FR Doc. 2020-11952 Filed 6-2-20; 8:45 am]

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