US seeks comments on China tariff exclusions amid new trade approach

US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai had announced Washington would seek ‘frank conversations’ with China over its adherence to a 2020 agreement meant to cool commercial tensions between the two economic powers. — AFP pic
US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai had announced Washington would seek ‘frank conversations’ with China over its adherence to a 2020 agreement meant to cool commercial tensions between the two economic powers. — AFP pic

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WASHINGTON, Oct 6 ― The United States announced yesterday it will take public comments regarding exclusions from its tariffs on China as President Joe Biden's administration grapples with what it views as Beijing's failure to honour a trade deal.

US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai had the day prior announced Washington would seek “frank conversations” with China over its adherence to a 2020 agreement meant to cool commercial tensions between the two economic powers.

That deal came after Biden's predecessor Donald Trump imposed tariffs on US$370 billion (RM1.54 trillion) of Chinese products in 2018, citing trade practices Washington deemed “unfair.”

However many US companies have criticised the levies, saying they drive up costs, since importers bear their brunt, and yesterday USTR announced a “targeted tariff exclusion process.”

More than 2,200 exclusions had previously been granted and 549 extended until most expired at the end of last year, USTR said in a statement.

“As these exclusions were previously found to warrant additional time, USTR will evaluate, on a case-by-case basis, the possible reinstatement of each exclusion,” the statement said.

“The focus of the evaluation will be whether... the particular product remains available only from China.”

The public comment period runs from October 12 through December 1, and USTR said it would weigh the exclusion's impact on factors including employment, supply chains and its overall policies towards China. ― AFP

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