While it is not specifically provided for in the regulations, language attached to the mini-Omnibus bill signed into law by the President last Friday dictates that it is the sense of Congress the United States Trade Representative should provide an exclusion process for importers of items whose HTS numbers are included on the most recent annex.

Earlier this year, USTR Lighthizer wrote Senator Kaine (D-VA) and informed him that there would be no exclusion process considered until a deal was reached, but the language from Congress required that in no more than thirty days from the signing of the bill that a process should be published. Given the paucity of exclusions approved already from the first two lists (under 1,000 approvals for nearly 11,000 submissions), importers know that it is a long shot, but one that still pays better than a significant increase in their landed costs.