Walorski, Kind React to USTR Commitment to Exclusion Process if China Tariffs Increase
Representatives Led Bipartisan Letter in October Calling for Exclusion Process for Third Round of Tariffs on Chinese Goods
WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) today reacted to the decision by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to implement a product exclusion process for the third round of China tariffs if the rate increases at the end of the 90-day window for negotiations.
“While I remain concerned about the impact tariffs are having on our economy, I am encouraged that Ambassador Lighthizer is committed to implementing a fair and transparent exclusion process if the latest round of China tariffs escalates,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “I am hopeful the ongoing talks between the U.S. and China will put an end to China’s unfair trade practices and bring long-term benefits to American manufacturers, farmers, workers, and consumers. However, if negotiations do not lead to a long-term resolution and tariffs increase, this product exclusion process for U.S. businesses will be absolutely necessary to prevent further harm to the U.S. economy.”
“Tariffs on American exports continue to threaten the viability and success of our small businesses and farms – and companies need an exclusion process now, not only if things get worse,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “Wisconsin’s farmers, workers and families eagerly await the day these unnecessary tariffs are lifted, and this Administration’s trade war comes to an end.”
In October, Walorski and Kind led a bipartisan coalition of 169 members of Congress in calling on USTR Lighthizer to establish a process that allows U.S. companies to request an exclusion from the recent tariffs imposed on $200 billion of Chinese imports. An exclusion process was established for previous rounds of Section 301 tariffs but was omitted for the most recent tariffs.
In response to their letter, Lighthizer this week wrote (emphasis added):
“As you know, on December 1, President Trump and President Xi agreed to engage in negotiations during a 90-day period to address structural issues with China’s economic policies, such as forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and other actions impeding American economic growth and innovation. While these negotiations are ongoing, President Trump agreed to delay until March 2, 2019, an increase in the additional duty rate on the products covered by the $200 billion trade action from 10 percent to 25 percent. If the duty rate on the $200 billion tariff action is raised to 25 percent, USTR will initiate an appropriate exclusion process.”
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.