China “Phase One” Deal Signed – Provides No Relief for Travel Goods
Yesterday – January 15 – President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Hi signed the U.S./China “Phase One” Deal (agreement, fact sheets). The deal provides no relief for travel goods, as the punitive tariffs on U.S. imports of travel goods from China remain at 25%.
Tariff Exclusion Process Offers First Signs of Relief
The U.S. government’s review of the 30,322 tariff exclusion requests to remove the 25% punitive tariffs on certain U.S. imports from China finally provides a small amount of relief for the industry, with the U.S. government granting the exclusion request for certain leather brief bags (under HTS 4202110030). That means anyone (not just the petitioner) importing the subject bags from China that meet the description in the Federal Register notice (See page 6, #5) will no longer have to pay the punitive 25% tariff on those imports (until August 7, 2020). Further, they are eligible for refunds of the punitive tariffs paid to date, retroactive to September 24, 2018. Of the 863 exclusion petitions filed on travel goods, only 389 of those petitions (45.1%) have been reviewed to date, with all but one petition reviewed to date being denied (see above).
Public Comment Period on Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTB) Opens January 10
The public comment period on Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTB) opens January 10. Forty MTB petitions have been filed. Through the MTB process, importers petition for the temporary reduction of tariffs on U.S. imports of certain products as long as there is no U.S. production of the product. The process ends with Congress voting on a final package of MTB provisions in fall 2020, with the temporary tariff reductions going into effect January 1, 2021 for a period of three years. The tariff reductions benefit anyone importing the same product. TGA urges companies to file comments on the petitions relevant to their products.