WASHINGTON, March 24 ― The US Trade Representative's office said yesterday it has reinstated 352 expired product exclusions from US “Section 301” tariffs on Chinese imports, well short of the 549 exclusions that it was previously considering.

The reinstated product exclusions will be effective retroactively from October 12, 2021 and extend through December 31, 2022, USTR said. They cover a wide range of the initially estimated US$370 billion (RM1.56 trillion) worth of Chinese imports that former president Donald Trump hit with punitive tariffs of 7.5 per cent to 25 per cent.

The list released by USTR includes industrial components such as pumps and electric motors, certain car parts and chemicals, backpacks, bicycles, vacuum cleaners and other consumer goods.

The Trump administration initially had granted more than 2,200 exclusions to the tariffs to provide relief to certain industries and retailers. Most were allowed to expire, but 549 were extended for a year, and these expired at the end of 2020.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai last October had launched a review of whether to reinstate those 549 exclusions as part of her strategy to confront China on its trade practices.

A series of virtual meetings with her Chinese counterparts since then yielded little improvement in China's performance under Trump's “Phase 1” trade agreement with Beijing. ― Reuters