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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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AGENCY:

Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION:

Notice.

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 an exclusion process in September 2018 and granted three sets of exclusions under the $16 billion action. He published the third set of exclusions in September 2019 and added additional exclusions in February and July 2020. These exclusions will expire on October 2, 2020. On June 25, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative established a process for the public to comment on whether to extend particular exclusions 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 apply as of October 2, 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 Associate General Counsel Philip Butler or Assistant General Counsel 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 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 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 24076 Start Printed Page 62787(April 30, 2020), 85 FR 28691 (May 13, 2020), 85 FR 38237 (June 25, 2020), 85 FR 38243 (June 25, 2020), 85 FR 43291 (July 16, 2020), 85 FR 45949 (July 30, 2020), and 85 FR 59595 (September 22, 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 (September 18 notice).

In September 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative granted a set of exclusion requests and added additional exclusions in February and July 2020. See 84 FR 49600 (September 20 notice); 85 FR 10808 (February 25 notice); 85 FR 43291 (July 16 notice). The exclusions granted under these notices expire on October 2, 2020. On June 25, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative invited the public to comment on whether to extend for up to 12 months particular exclusions granted under these notices. See 85 FR 38243 (June 25 notice).

Under the June 25 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 August 2018 with respect to the particular product, or any other relevant industry developments; and efforts, if any, importers or U.S. purchasers have undertaken since August 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 August 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; and any additional information in support or in opposition of the extending the exclusion.

The June 25 notice required the submission of comments no later than July 30, 2020.

B. Determination To Extend Certain Exclusions

Based on an evaluation of the factors set out in the September 18 and June 25 notices, 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 September 20, February 25, and July 16 notices, as set out in the Annexes to this notice.

The June 25 notice said 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 more than 6,800 exclusion requests, has extended some of these exclusions, and may consider further extensions of exclusions. 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 Annexes, 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 Annexes to this notice, and not by the product descriptions set out in any particular request for exclusion.

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Joseph Barloon,

General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative.

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[FR Doc. 2020-21954 Filed 10-2-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3290-F0-C