On October 18, 2018, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and ten other Democratic senators sent a letter to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) asking why an exclusion process was not in place for the 10 percent tariff on List 3’s $200 billion of imported Chinese goods.

On January 11, 2019, USTR replied, telling Senator Kaine an exclusion process will not be initiated on List 3 unless negotiations fail with China and the President raises the tariff on the $200 billion worth of goods from 10 percent to 25 percent. Currently, President Trump has agreed to delay the implementation of the higher tariff until March 2, 2019.

USTR’s reply also addressed Chinese goods admitted into a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). The letter said, “Understandably, every importer, including importers who make use of FTZs, would prefer a special exemption from the additional tariffs. As of this time, we have not found a basis for exempting U.S. importers who use FTZs from the additional duties, when those duties apply to all other U.S. importers.”