In July, tariffs of 25 percent came into effect for Chinese products imported under 818 tariff lines, covering a trade value of approximately $34 billion in 2018. Included in this list, often referred to as “List 1,” are some products affecting the RV industry, such as electronics and machinery used in production.

During the public comment process, a number of responses asserted that specific products within a particular tariff subheading were only available from China; imposition of additional duties on the specific products would cause severe economic harm to a U.S. interest; and specific products were not strategically important or related to the ‘‘Made in China 2025’’ program.

In an attempt to give some relief in these instances, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced in the Federal Register a process for companies or interested persons, including trade associations, to request an exclusion with the following timeline:

  • Exclusion requests are due by October 9.
  • Once an exclusion request is posted on the public has 14 days to respond.
  • After such a response, there is an additional 7-day period for any additional comments.

A second list of goods from China (List 2), totaling $16 billion, was announced in August. Exclusion requests on this list of products is due by December 18, 2018. And, although not announced yet, it is anticipated that a similar exclusion process will be established for the goods included on List 3, for which a 10 percent tariff is being imposed until December 31, after which, it will increase to 25 percent. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-IN-2) and Ron Kind (D-WI-3) are currently circulating to all House members a draft letter to USTR Lighthizer urging him to establish such a process, saying that it is vital to ensuring that U.S. companies can seek relief in the event that there are no alternative suppliers or if other special circumstances exist that could harm their ability to compete in the global marketplace.

USTR has also developed an exclusion request form which can be downloaded here. Some notable requirements:

  • The requester must provide quantity and value data for the past three years of imports of the product
  • The requester must identify the 10-digit tariff code of the product.
  • The requester must provide information distinguishing the product from other products that fall within the same 8-digit tariff code.
  • The requester must provide information regarding the ability of Customs to administer the exclusion request.
  • The requester should identify whether the product can only be sourced from China.
  • The requester should identify whether the imposition of duties will cause "severe economic harm."

Additionally, proprietary business information may be submitted in these requests as the Federal Register Notice establishes procedures to ensure that this information remains confidential.