PESA Members are increasingly concerned about the tariffs outlined by the Trump Administration, including section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, as well as 301 tariffs on imports from China. The process for companies to file product exclusion requests has been unclear, and PESA has filed multiple product exclusion requests on behalf of our members.
However, language was included in the recent omnibus spending bill (H.J. Res. 31) to mandate a new, improved exclusion process for both tariffs. The bill passed both chambers and was signed by the President on February 14.
The bill included an increase of $4.5 million dollars for the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for fiscal year 2019. In an explanatory statement released along with the spending package, House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-17-NY) said this additional money for BIS is directed to be used for creating a “effective” exclusion process for products targeted by the Trump administrations tariffs on steel and aluminum under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. While BIS has already created an exclusion process, many PESA Member Companies have indicated that it is overly costly and very difficult for companies to navigate. The mandate requires that BIS create a new process that will be easier to navigate and processed faster.
Additionally, the spending package included language that puts a similar mandate on the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for products affected by tariffs imposed against imports from China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Included in this mandate is a demand that an adequate exclusion process from “list three” be released by USTR within 30 days of passage and additional money be directed to improve the already existing process for lists one and two.
PESA will follow the implementation of these changes to the exclusion processes for section 232 and 301 closely, and we will keep members updated on implementation moving forward. Click here to see past coverage of this issue. For questions or additional information, please contact PESA Vice President of Government Affairs Tim Tarpley.