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Notice

Notice of Product Exclusion Extensions: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION:

Notice of product exclusion extensions.

SUMMARY:

Effective August 23, 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative imposed additional duties on goods of China with an annual trade value of approximately $16 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 the exclusion process in September 2018 and, to date, has granted three sets of exclusions under the $16 billion action. The first set of exclusions was published in July 2019 and will expire in July 2020. On April 30, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative established a process for the public to comment on whether to extend particular exclusions granted in July 2019 for up to 12 months. This notice announces the U.S. Trade Representative's determination to extend certain exclusions through December 31, 2020.

DATES:

The product exclusion extensions announced in this notice will apply as of July 31, 2020, and extend through December 31, 2020. 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 Benjamin Allen, 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 traderemedy@cbp.dhs.gov.

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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 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), 83 FR 40823 (August 16, 2018), 83 FR 47236 (September 18, 2018), 83 FR 47974 (September 21, 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 FR 37381 (July 31, 2019), 84 FR 49600 (September 20, 2019), 84 FR 52553 (October 2, 2019), 84 FR 69011 (December 17, 2019), 85 FR 10808 (February 25, 2020), 85 FR 28691 (May 13, 2020), and 85 FR 43291 (July 16, 2020).

Effective August 23, 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative imposed additional 25 percent duties on goods of China classified in 279 eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), with an approximate annual trade value of $16 billion. See 83 FR 40823 (the $16 billion action). The U.S. Trade Representative's determination included a decision to establish a process by which U.S. stakeholders could request exclusion of particular products classified within an eight-digit HTSUS subheading covered by the $16 billion action from the additional duties. The U.S. Trade Representative issued a notice setting out the process for the product exclusions and opened a public docket. See 83 FR 47236 (the September 18 notice).

In July 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative granted a set of exclusion requests, which expire on July 31, 2020. See 84 FR 37381 (the July 31 notice). On April 30, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative invited the public to comment on whether to extend by up to 12 months, particular exclusions granted in the July 31 notice. See 85 FR 24076 (the April 30 notice).

Under the April 30 notice, commenters were asked to address:

  • 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 July 2018 with respect to the particular product, or any other relevant industry developments.
  • efforts, if any, importers or U.S. purchasers have undertaken since July 2018 to source the product from the United States or third countries.

In addition, commenters who were importers and/or purchasers of the products covered by an exclusion were asked to provide information regarding:

  • Their efforts since July 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, and whether these purchases are from a 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.
  • 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 or in opposition of the extending the exclusion.

The April 30 notice required the submission of comments no later than June 1, 2020.

B. Determination To Extend Certain Exclusions

Based on evaluation of the factors set out in the September 18 notice and the April 30 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 U.S. Trade Representative has determined to extend certain product exclusions covered by the July 31 notice, as set out in the Annex to this notice.

The April 30 notice provided that the U.S. Trade Representative would consider extensions of up to 12 months. In light of the cumulative effect of current and possible future exclusions or extensions of exclusions on the effectiveness of the action taken in this investigation, the U.S. Trade Representative has determined to extend the exclusions in the Annex to this notice for less than 12 months—through December 31, 2020. To date, the U.S. Trade Representative has granted Start Printed Page 45950more than 6,700 exclusion requests, has extended some of these exclusions, and may consider further extensions of exclusions. Furthermore, more than 200 requests are pending on the products covered by the action taken on August 20, 2019. The U.S. Trade Representative will take account of the cumulative effect of exclusions in considering the possible further extension of the exclusions covered by this notice, as well as possible extensions of exclusions of other products covered by the action in this investigation. The U.S. Trade Representative's determination also takes into account advice from advisory committees and any public comments concerning extension of the pertinent exclusion.

In accordance with the September 18 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 ten-digit HTSUS 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 U.S. Trade Representative will continue to issue determinations on a periodic basis.

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Joseph Barloon,

General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative.

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BILLING CODE 3290-FO-P

[FR Doc. 2020-16529 Filed 7-29-20; 8:45 am]

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