United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai recently announced a round of tariff exclusions on a small set of products impacted by Section 301 tariffs for China.
Why it matters: At a time of supply chain disruption, COVID-19 economic fallout, inflationary pressure and other challenges, many manufacturers have been facing a further hit from broad Section 301 tariffs for critical inputs and products needed to support their U.S. manufacturing operations.
The background: These tariff exclusions have been under review since last October, when the U.S. Trade Representative announced plans to review exclusions on 549 Chinese products that had been granted, and allowed to expire, by the previous administration. On Wednesday, Ambassador Tai released the list of exclusions, which will apply retroactively from Oct. 12, 2021, and extend through Dec. 31, 2022. The full list of exclusions can be found here.
Our take: The NAM welcomed the announcement as a move to help manufacturers large and small. But it is only the first step toward what manufacturers truly need: a comprehensive, fair and transparent exclusion process that will allow all manufacturers in the United States to seek, and voice their views on, meaningful Section 301 exclusions on a case-by-case basis.
The big picture: While tariff exclusions are an important issue, they are only one part of a larger China trade policy. At the NAM, we will continue to call on policymakers to set a clear and strong strategy on China that holds it accountable for its trade commitments, tackles harmful and unfair trade actions that impact manufacturers in the United States and fights for a level playing field for manufacturers to compete in the United States, in China and around the world.