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USTR Just Gave These Goods a Break From Tariffs—and There Could Be More to Come

As the United States and China near a much-talked-about but still largely unclear initial deal on trade, the United States Trade Representative said it’s suspending tariffs on certain products—and considering a similar move for others.

On Monday, USTR announced its decision to grant tariff exclusions for some of the products that got hit with additional duties as part of the Section 301 investigation (List 3 tariffs) that saw $200 billion worth of goods targeted in September last year.

Those exclusions include things like Merino wool yarn, some woven and non-woven fabrics, imitation leather, man-made micro-denier fabrics, and long pile knit fabrics made of acrylic.

Though slow going, conversations between U.S. and China on their trade relations appear to be inching more toward compromise than all-out war.

On Tuesday, USTR said it will start a process on Nov. 1 to consider suspending additional tariffs on certain Chinese imports for up to 12 months. These exclusions were initially granted for $34 billion worth of product in July last year, but the exemption from the 25 percent tariff is set to expire on Dec. 28.

After a comment period set to run for the month of November, USTR will determine whether to reinstitute the exclusions. The trade representatives will be considering whether Chinese suppliers have lowered their prices for products covered by the exclusions and whether the China-originating product is sold as a final product or as an input.

“USTR will continue to consider whether the imposition of additional duties on the products covered by the exclusion will result in severe economic harm to the commenter or other U.S. interests,” a statement in the Federal Register said.