U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) this week joined a bipartisan group of 101 congressional lawmakers in urging the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to establish a new exclusion process that would permit U.S. importers to request relief from the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China.
“While we strongly support tough and effective action to address China’s unfair trade practices, we believe that there must be a meaningful opportunity for American companies to petition for relief from tariffs,” the members wrote in an April 27 letter sent to USTR Katherine Tai.
While Rep. Walorski and her colleagues expressed support for the USTR’s recent extension of tariff exclusions for COVID-19-related products, they think the current exclusions are insufficient to provide much-needed relief for businesses and workers struggling with the economic hardship caused by the ongoing pandemic, according to their letter.
“A new exclusion process would provide support to domestic businesses and their workers as many of the products facing the Section 301 tariffs are critical inputs for U.S. supply chains and manufacturing plants that have sustained U.S. jobs through this crisis,” they wrote.
Such a process also would provide American businesses across numerous industries — including manufacturing, agriculture, fishing, retail, energy, technology, and services — an opportunity to petition for exclusions consistent with U.S. economic and foreign policy interests, wrote Rep. Walorski and the members.
And such a process should be “administered in a way that would not undermine the broader and critically important bipartisan support to address serious concerns with China’s behavior,” wrote Rep. Walorski and her colleagues.