Recent Trade & Tariff Perspectives

April 20, 2022  |  Anahi Czeszewski  Product Development Manager

container ship being guided into port 

Latest Developments on the Customs and Trade Front

We have seen numerous customs and trade developments emerge recently. From the reinstated Section 301 China duty exclusions to the agreement reached between the United States and United Kingdom regarding Section 232 aluminum and steel tariffs—these developments warrant a closer review. Read on to understand the effects these changes can have on your supply chain and identify the steps you should take now to mitigate risk and maximize cost-savings opportunities.

Watch this week's Trade & Tariff Perspective:


U.S. Trade Representative retroactively reinstates 352 expired China duty exclusions

As stated in the press release published on March 23, 2022, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) reinstated 352 previously expired Section 301 China duty exclusions. The exclusions will be retroactively applied to October 12, 2021, and made valid through December 31, 2022. Notably, though some exclusions are at the 10-digit tariff classification level, a large majority of the exclusions are product specific.

Uncover your duty refund potential and exclusion eligibility opportunities today

The C.H. Robinson U.S. Tariff search tool allows you to easily identify retroactive and prospective exclusion opportunities by using the 10-digit tariff classification codes, as queried directly from both the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) and all duty exclusion notices published by the USTR—including the most recent notice from March 23, 2022.

Labor is challenging to come by these days, and tools like this can save hours of research time, providing clarity in a very complex environment. Take advantage of these latest reinstated exclusions by learning how to use the U.S. Tariff search tool today.

In addition, for entries where C.H. Robinson acted as your customs broker, reach out to your account representative for a comprehensive duty recovery analysis as it relates to the most recent exclusion notice. Your company’s historical entry data will be queried against this duty exclusion reinstatement notice. You will have the ability to review your imported products and specific duty exclusion language side by side.

Progress for the America COMPETES Act and U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA)

In late January, the U.S. House of Representatives released the America COMPETES Act of 2022—a response to the Senate’s U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA). Recently in April, more than 100 lawmakers were named to go to the conference committee in hopes of reconciling the two bills into one final bill. Both bills aim to increase U.S. economic competitiveness with China and address the global semiconductor shortage.

Understanding the extensiveness in both the House and Senate’s legislations, a conference committee of this size allows for the proposals prepared by numerous committees to be well represented during the conference discussions. It is expected that the conference committee will convene after a two-week recess, with a roll call expected shortly after the Easter holiday.

The question certainly on everyone’s mind is if a deal will be reached on legislation in which all parties agree. Though nothing concrete has been presented to the public regarding timing, Memorial Day has been discussed as a possible deadline. If this is the case, the House and Senate conference committee members will have only about four weeks to the deadline.

The differences between the bills—which must be reconciled before a final bill can be signed into law— are captured below:

Comparison of the USICA bill and America Competes Act 

Court of International Trade rules China tariffs on $320 billion of Chinese goods stand

In early April, the Court of International Trade (CIT) issued a ruling related to the USTR’s response to comments on approximately $320 billion worth of Chinese goods from Lists 3 and 4A. It stated the Trump Administration acted with authority in the application of the additional tariffs. However, the CIT determined the USTR “failed to respond adequately to comments” submitted by over 6,000 importers. Importers can join this litigation to potentially reclaim refunds of these tariffs.

This recent ruling does not remove the associated tariffs, but instead, orders the USTR to provide “further explanation regarding the USTR’s rationale for imposing the tariffs,” and as necessary, “reasons for placing products on the lists or removing products therefrom.” The USTR must respond to the court by June 30, 2022.

If sufficient responses are furnished to the court, there is a possibility the CIT may sustain the List 3 and List 4A additional tariffs. However, if responses from the USTR are insufficient, the CIT must consider voiding these duties. The CIT will require time to review responses provided by the USTR. Decisions are expected to be made this fall.

Agreement reached between the United States and United Kingdom regarding steel and aluminum imports

In March, a joint statement announced a newly formed agreement between the United States and UK regarding the treatment of Section 232 tariffs. Similar to the agreement with the European Union (EU), tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on aluminum and steel imports will be in effect—and are set to begin June 1, 2022.

This means only certain aggregate annual import volume limits under each category will be allowed to enter to be considered in-quota—and because of this, they may enter free of any Section 232 additional duties. Imports in excess of the TRQ quantities will be subject to the Section 232 additional duty. Aluminum and steel derivatives from the UK will no longer be subject to Section 232 additional duties. This agreement requires the UK to lift retaliatory tariffs on over $500 million worth of U.S. products—including distilled spirits, various agriculture products, and consumer goods.

Bill signed to end normal trade status for imports from Russia and Belarus

On April 8, 2022, President Biden signed into law a bill to end permanent normal trade relations status for Russian and Belarusian goods. As a result, the rates of duty set forth in column 2 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) are to be applied to all products from these two countries. This means exports from Russia and Belarus will no longer receive lower tariff rates the United States imposes on goods from countries considered normal trading partners.

The President “may proclaim increases in the rates of duty applicable…above the rates set forth in column 2” of the HTSUS. Guidelines are also contained within the bill specific to when the President can restore normal trade relations (i.e., column 1 of the HTSUS) with both countries based on the state of the Ukraine war. A bill was also recently signed banning Russian oil.

Stay informed on developments

C.H. Robinson continues to closely monitor all of the latest developments. Subscribe to our Client Advisories and Trade and Tariff Insights to be notified when changes take place. Connect with one of our trade policy experts to learn even more.


Our information is compiled from a number of sources that to the best of our knowledge are accurate and correct. It is always the intent of our company to present accurate information. C.H. Robinson accepts no liability or responsibility for the information published herein.

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