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232 Tariffs - Steel and Aluminum

Overview

On March 08th, 2018 President Trump issued proclamations 9704 and 9705 imposing a 10% tariff on aluminum and 25% tariff on steel imported into the United States. These proclamations were issued after an investigation, under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, by the Commerce Department into the “effect of imports of [steel and aluminum] articles on the national security of the United States”.

Timeline

  • March 22 2018: Temporary exemptions (until May 1st, 2018) granted for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and the European Union (EU).
  • March 28 2018: The US Trade Representative (USTR) announced an agreement for permanent tariff exemption on steel imported from South Korea (aluminum tariffs remain).
  • April 30 2018: Agreements in principal announced with Argentina, Australia, and Brazil to indefinitely extend their exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs.
  • April 30 2018: The White House also announced an extention of negotiations "for a final 30 days" with Canada, Mexico, and the EU.
  • May 01 2018: Section 232 Steel and Aluminum Tariffs in place for all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea (only steel exempted), and the EU.
  • May 31 2018: Tariff exemptions for Canada, Mexico, and the EU expired.
  • June 01 2018: Section 232 Steel Tariffs in place for all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and South Korea.1
  • June 01 2018: Section 232 Aluminum Tariffs in place for all countries except Argentina and Australia.2

 

1,2US Customs and Border Protection: 232 Tariffs on Aluminum and Steel.

 


Legislative Proposals

There is increasing interest in Congress to consider legislation to try to rebalance the delegation of tariff authority between the Congress and the Executive Branch, particularly in the wake of the significant burden that steel and aluminum Section 232 tariffs are placing on our manufacturing and agricultural sectors. This concern is becoming even greater in light of the growing likelihood of increased harm if tariffs are extended to the autos and auto parts sector. Following is a summary of pending legislative proposals.


Country Exemption Status

Section 232 tariff exemptions for countries with whom the United States has a security relationship may be granted by Presidential Proclamation. Initially 6 countries and the European Union were granted temporary exemptions. Listed below is the current status of section 232 tariffs for the countries on the original exemption list.

Argentina

Indefinite exemption to steel and aluminum tariffs granted April 30 2018 while negotiations on a permanent exemption are finalized.

Australia

Indefinite exemption to steel and aluminum tariffs granted April 30 2018 while negotiations on a permanent exemption are finalized.

Brazil

Indefinite exemption to steel tariffs granted April 30 2018 while negotiations on a permanent exemption are finalized.

Canada

Section 232 tariffs for steel and aluminum currently in place.
  • September 30 2018: The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (or "USMCA") announced. This agreement does not impact the 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, which remain in effect.

Mexico

Section 232 tariffs for steel and aluminum currently in place.
  • August 27 2018: Prelimiary trade deal announced, but 232 tariff exemptions remain unresolved.
  • September 30 2018: The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (or "USMCA") announced. This agreement does not impact the 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, which remain in effect.

South Korea

Permanent exemption to Section 232 steel tariffs announced March 28 2018. Section 232 Aluminum tariffs enacted as of May 1 2018.

European Union

Section 232 tariffs for steel and aluminum currently in place.
  • July 25 2018: US and EU announce no "new" tariffs during negotiations, steel and aluminum tariffs remain in place.

Turkey

Section 232 tariffs for steel and aluminum currently in place.
  • August 10 2018: President Trump proposed an increase in Section 232 tariffs on Aluminum (to 20%) and Steel (to 50%) from Turkey.

 


Impacted Products

Aluminum

Per Presidential Proclamation 9704, the following Aluminum codes from the Harmonized Tariff Schedule are impacted by section 232 tariffs.

7601 - Unwrought Aluminum
7604 - Aluminum Bars, Rods, and Profiles
7605 - Aluminum Wire
7606, 7607 - Aluminum Plate, Sheet, Strip, and Foil (flat rolled products)
7608, 7609 - Aluminum Tubes and Pipes and Tube and Pipe Fittings
7616.99.51.60, 7616.99.51.70 - Aluminum Castings and Forgings

 

Steel

Per Presidential Proclamation 9705, the following Steel codes from the Harmonized Tariff Schedule are impacted by Section 232 tariffs.

7206.10 through 7216.50
7216.99 through 7301.10
7302.10
7302.40 through 7302.90
7304.11* through 7306.90
  • 7304.10 amended to 7304.11 in Presidential Proclamation 9711

 

 

Product Exclusion Process

July 26th: House Ways and Means Hearing on Product Exclusion Process for Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum

 

Product Exclusion Process for Aluminum

 

 

Product Exclusion Process for Steel