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USTR Seeking Comment on Possible Modifications to Section 301 Tariffs in Response COVID-19

Posted March 24, 2020

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is currently seeking comment from stakeholders (public, businesses, and government agencies) in regards to whether additional changes are needed to the China Section 301 tariffs “to keep current on developments in our national fight against the coronavirus pandemic.”

Section 301 and “Health Considerations”

USTR says the administration has “prioritized health considerations” throughout the Section 301 process, working with the Department of Health and Human Services to not “impose tariffs on certain critical products such as ventilators, oxygen masks, and nubilators” and, has “granted exclusions for a large number of health-related products.”

This additional action is now being taken by USTR to assess whether the removal of duties from additional medical care products is necessary.

Application Process

Submissions are limited to comments on products subject to the tariff actions and relevant to the medical response to the coronavirus.

Comments should be filed using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (Docket No. USTR-2020-0014).

Each comment must include:

  • The ten-digit HTS subheading applicable to the product;
  • Specifically identify the particular product and “explain precisely how the product relates to the response to the COVID-19 outbreak”;
  • Identify the product in terms of its functionality and physical characteristics (e.g., dimensions, material composition, or other characteristics);
  • Commenters may also provide information regarding the producer, importer, ultimate consumer, or trademarks or tradenames, but USTR notes that “this is less helpful.”

​Note: Comments may be submitted under this docket number even if the product is subject to a pending or previously denied exclusion request.

USTR is requesting that comments be provided “promptly” but no later than June 25, 2020.

Need More Information?

If you have any questions about the public comment process or if you require assistance preparing a submission for consideration by USTR regarding this issue, don’t hesitate to contact one of our trade experts today.

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