USTR extends China seafood tariff exclusions for some seafood products

The office of the United States Trade Representative
The United States Trade Representative extended China seafood tariff exclusions for some seafood products, but Alaskan sole failed to qualify | Photo courtesy of Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock
4 Min

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has extended exclusions to certain tariffs on seafood products from China while also signaling some products will soon be added to the list. 

The USTR announced some exclusions originally set to expire on 31 May 2024 will be extended through 31 May 2025, while others will only be granted a “transition period,” extending those tariff exclusions through 14 June. 

Tariffs related to the Section 301 Investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation started under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who first hit a range of seafood items from China with a 10 percent tariff in 2018.

Some seafood goods managed to escape additional tariffs, but over the course of 2019, Trump raised additional tariffs, ultimately ending up on tariffs as high as 30 percent on USD 250 billion (EUR 231 billion) worth of goods from China and 15 percent tariffs on USD 300 billion (EUR 277 billion) worth of goods. 

Several seafood items received exclusions from those tariffs, which were later extended in some cases but not in others.

In 2021, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden took a second look at the tariffs and floated tariff exclusions on certain goods, ultimately deciding to reinstate exclusions for certain seafood products.

Many of those exclusions have continued to be extended through multiple actions by the USTR, up through 31 May 2024. Those extensions included:

  • Alaskan sole (yellowfin, rock, or flathead) frozen in blocks, with a net weight of more than 4.5 kilograms;
  • King crabmeat, frozen in blocks and weighing at least 1 kilogram but not more than 1.2 kilograms, in airtight containers;
  • Snow crabmeat (C. opilio), frozen in blocks, in airtight containers, and with a net weight of no more than 1.2 kilograms;
  • Dungeness crabmeat, frozen in blocks in airtight containers, with a weight of no more than 1.2 kilograms; and
  • Any crabmeat other than king, snow, Dungeness, or swimming crabs, frozen in blocks in airtight containers weighing no more than 1.5 kilograms.

Under the latest action, only certain items will qualify for the full-year extension, listed under “Annex C” in the official posting to the Federal Register. All crab products listed above will fall under that category, as will ... 

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