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Trade and Industry Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Brand Hong Kong - Asia world city

Commercial Information Circulars

24-hour hotline : 23 922 922

e-mail address : enquiry@tid.gov.hk

Ref. : EIC 111/2/18
EIC 111/3 
EIC 111/3/13
CR EIC 111/1/13/3

20 July 2020

Dear Sirs,

Commercial Information Circular No. 550/2020

US : Section 301 Tariffs on Mainland Products Worth US$300 billion - Seeking Public Comments on Extension of the Sixth and Forthcoming Seventh Batches of Products Excluded from 7.5% Tariffs under List 4A for Up to Twelve Months

The US Trade Representative (USTR) posted a Federal Register (FR) notice on 17 July 2020 seeking public comments on whether to extend the sixth and a forthcoming seventh batches of products excluded from 7.5% tariffs imposed on Mainland products under List 4A. The excluded products are set to expire on 1 September 2020 and the USTR will consider extending certain exclusions for up to 12 months. Written comments should be submitted to the US from 15 July 2020 to 14 August 2020.

DETAILS

2.         On 1 September 2019, the US imposed 15% additional tariffs on Mainland products under List 4A (worth about US$120 billion). As the US and China had reached a Phase One trade agreement in January 2020, the tariffs for List 4A were reduced to 7.5% on 14 February 2020 and the US also suspended indefinitely its plan to impose additional tariffs on Mainland products under List 4B (worth about US$160 billion). The USTR had initiated an exclusion process under List 4A for stakeholders to submit requests for the exclusion of specific products from the additional tariffs. Subsequently, the USTR has announced six batches of excluded products from March to July 2020 and will issue a seventh batch in the coming days. For details, please refer to Commercial Information Circular nos. 758/2019, 902/2019, 62/2020, 191/2020, 217/2020, 261/2020, 392/2020, 454/2020 and 536/2020 dated 21 October 2019, 16 December 2019, 16 January 2020, 10 March 2020, 16 March 2020, 27 March 2020, 12 May 2020, 10 June 2020 and 10 July 2020 respectively.

3.         On 17 July 2020, the USTR posted a FR notice seeking public comments on whether to extend the sixth and a forthcoming seventh batches of products excluded from 7.5% tariffs imposed on Mainland products under List 4A. The excluded products are set to expire on 1 September 2020 and the USTR will consider extending certain exclusions for up to 12 months. The comment process has the following important dates and features:

  • The online portal for submitting comments (https://comments.USTR.gov) will open on 15 July 2020.
  • The Docket Number is USTR-2020-0029.
  • The deadline for submitting comments is 14 August 2020 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time.

4.         The USTR will evaluate possible extension of each exclusion on a case-by-case basis and the focus of the evaluation will be whether the particular product remains available only from China. It will also consider whether the imposition of additional duties on the products covered by the exclusion will result in severe economic harm to the commenter or other US interests. Commenters are invited to address specifically:

  • Whether the particular product and/or a comparable product is available from sources in the US and/or in third countries.
  • Any changes in the global supply chain since September 2019 with respect to the particular product, or any other relevant industry developments.
  • The efforts, if any, the importers or US purchasers have undertaken since September 2019 to source the product from the US or third countries.

5.         For details, please refer to the FR notice:
 https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-07-17/pdf/2020-15533.pdf

ENQUIRIES

6.For enquiries concerning the content of this circular, please contact Miss K Y HO at telephone number 2398 5405.

Yours faithfully,

(Miss Ivy TAM)
for Director-General of Trade and Industry

Note: While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the above information, the Department cannot guarantee this to be so and will not be held liable for any reliance placed on the same.