Walorski joins bipartisan, bicameral contingent in urging USTR to renew China tariff relief

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators and another congressman urged the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to automatically renew tariff relief for American countries importing Chinese products.

“As we near the one-year mark of the application of tariffs on Chinese imports,” Rep. Walorski and her colleagues wrote, “we anticipate your office will see the value in automatically granting renewed exclusions for products which had already received an exclusion. Allowing previously granted exclusions to expire automatically even though there is no change in circumstances would be a mistake.”

The lawmakers joining her in signing the June 12 letter sent to USTR Robert Lighthizer were U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and U.S. Sens. James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE).

In their letter, the members reiterated that the USTR created an exclusion process for List 3 of Chinese imports subject to tariffs imposed under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The exclusion process for List 3 also is a goal of the Import Tax Relief Act of 2019, S. 577/H.R. 1452, which the same group of lawmakers introduced in late February.

“We urge you to ensure that products granted an exemption continue to be exempted from tariff application under any list until the tariffs have been completely lifted,” Rep. Walorski and her colleagues wrote. “Doing so would benefit thousands of U.S. businesses and American families.”

The lawmakers also expressed concern about the timely processing of exclusion applications under the exclusion process because List 3 is substantially larger than Lists 1 and 2 combined, according to their letter.

“Please communicate to us whether USTR requires additional resources from Congress in order to effectively implement this process,” Rep. Walorski and the lawmakers wrote. “Furthermore, we advise that List 3 exclusions granted should include relief retroactive to September 2018, when the initial tariff was imposed.”