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Mar. 27, 2019

Tariff Insider: March 27, 2019

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The Big News: Trade Talks to Continue in Beijing

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be in Beijing beginning on March 28 to continue trade talks with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He.

The talks are reported to be in their final stages, with a potential deal hoped for in April.

President Trump, however, has stated that the existing tariffs on Chinese goods will not be entirely rolled back, even after a deal is negotiated. U.S. negotiators want to maintain tariffs as a deal enforcer, and slowly roll them back as China meets milestones. China negotiators, on the other hand, want tariffs to be immediately lifted upon the agreement of a deal.

A Chinese delegation is expected in Washington to continue talks the first week of April as well.

In the meantime, we have updates on the existing Section 301 tariffs:

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) posted a second list of tariffs on the Federal Register that are excluded from the first tranche of Section 301 tariffs implemented on July 6th, 2018.

Nearly all of the tariff exclusions have additional requirements that need to be met. With the new exclusions granted, importers can now retroactively be refunded for anything they had paid between July 6th and now through the post summary correction process.

The third tranche of tariffs, however, still has no exclusion process. In February Congress had asked the USTR to put a process in place for the third tranche no later than March 17th, but the deadline came and went without any official releases or updates.

Tariffs had been expected to increase on March 1st, but since they were delayed indefinitely, Robert Lighthizer has continued to assert that no exclusion process needs to be developed.

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