A Senate letter pressing Tai to expand USTR’s exclusion process comes fast on the heels of House passage of a broad bill to compete with China economically that is silent on the exclusions issue. U.S. customs officials have collected about $125 billion worth of duties on Chinese goods since former President Donald Trump first imposed them in 2018.
Tai outlined a Section 301 tariff exclusions process in October that “denies many a fair shake, and instead picks winners and losers among businesses,” the lawmakers write in a letter released today. Under Tai’s program, only companies that received a tariff exclusion from the Trump administration on about 550 Chinese products can apply for a new exclusion.
That leaves out a huge number of companies who applied for exclusions during the Trump administration and were denied. A report released last summer by the Government Accountability Office said USTR rejected 87 percent of the approximately 53,000 tariff exclusion requests it received when Trump was president.
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