This piece was originally published in the November/December 2019 issue of electroindustry.
Craig Updyke, Director, Trade and Commercial Affairs, NEMA
Although the Administration has continued to raise import tariffs on Chinese goods as part of its effort to reach an agreement on changes to a series of policies and practices that disadvantage U.S. companies there, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has excluded many NEMA scope products in response to requests from importers. Among the products the agency has exempted are: specific types of ac and dc motors, bodies for gas circuit breakers, ground fault circuit interrupters, arc fault circuit interrupters, lighting control switches, and certain types of copper wire. Products may be excluded on the grounds that they are not associated with China’s industrial policy, China is the only source, or that additional U.S. tariffs cause severe economic harm to U.S. importers. Once granted, an exclusion for a specific type of product can be used by any importer, regardless of whether the importer filed the request. However, USTR has rejected many exclusion requests for NEMA scope items, citing alternative sources of supply or links to Chinese industrial planning.
Tariffs on items remaining on USTR’s tariff lists rose from 25 to 30 percent on October 15. USTR’s fourth target list of products facing 15 percent tariffs was bifurcated; a first tranche saw tariffs take effect on September 1 while tariffs on the second tranche are scheduled for December 15. ei