More than 2,500 U.S. companies ask to be excluded from Chinese tariffs
October 1, 2019 | 4:31 pm UTC
More than 2,500 American companies have filed requests to be excluded from tariffs on Chinese imports.
The deadline to apply for an exclusion was midnight Monday. As of the deadline, requests on more than 31,000 products, which include furniture, cosmetics, frozen fish, and other products, have been filed.
President Trump and the White House will raise existing duties on $250 billion in Chinese products from 25 percent to 30 percent on October 15. Also, the $300 billion in Chinese goods set to be tariffed at 10 percent beginning September 1 will go up to 15 percent.
In the application, companies had to describe each product and give reasons why it can’t be obtained from alternate sources. Many companies wrote that they have been unable to find replacement goods - it either being impossible or doing so would hurt their businesses too much.
A few companies filed hundreds of requests by themselves. A Minnesota-based aftermarket car and lawn mower repair specialist filed nearly 10,000 requests of their own, wrote The Wall Street Journal. Other companies, including a door and window hardware maker, filed more than 1,000 requests.
Others wrote that they've fully transitioned to China and they're in too deep to suddenly move manufacturing back to the U.S.
So far, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has ruled on 439 requests - approving 61 and rejecting 378. 
Among requests on earlier rounds of tariffs, the USTR denied 61 percent of the more than 13,000 requests.
The latest round of tariff hikes is a response to China's newest retaliatory tariffs, which impact U.S. hardwood lumber, logs and veneer exports. The tariffs will be implemented in two phases, beginning Sept.1 and Dec. 15. 

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected]