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Steel and Aluminum Products: 

232 Duties, Exemptions, and Exclusion Order

Section 232 duties

On March 1, 2018, President Trump announced that section 232 duties would be levied on imported steel and aluminum imports.  These are global in nature with exceptions taken for Canada and Mexico.

The implementation of such duties was delayed due to country by country negotiations exemptions, but will now go forward as of June 1, 2018.  (Only Brazil, Argentina and S. Korea reached exemption agreements on the basis of quota restraints).

Duty Exemptions

On March 17, BIS issued its interim rule for companies wishing to seek exemptions from the Order.  The linked presentation provides further information on the exemption process.   Companies wishing assistance in the process should feel free to contact the firm.

Meanwhile, there are rumors that further exemptions could soon be granted to countries such as the EU, South Korea, Australia, Argentina, and Brazil.  

 

Potential for an Exclusion Order on China Steel Companies

on March 18, the ITC advised that it will contemplate the issuance of an Exclusion Order (this is distinct from the sec. 232 processes) against certain Chinese companies that failed to file responses on the issue of false country of origin allegations.  The list of these companies (excerpted from the ITC's Decision) is as follows:

  1. Shandong Iron and Steel Group Co. Ltd. of Jinan City, China; 
  2. Shandong Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. of Jinan City, China;
  3. Jigang Hong Kong Holdings Co., Ltd. of Hong Kong, China;
  4. Jinan Steel International Trade Co., Ltd. of Jinan City, China; 
  5. Benxi Iron and Steel (Group) International Economic and Trading Co. Ltd. Benxi City, China;
  6. Benxi Steel (Group) Co. Ltd., both of Benxi City, China; 
  7. Tianjin Tiangang Guanye Co., Ltd. of Tianjin, China; 
  8. Wuxi Sunny Xin Rui Science and Technology Co., Ltd. of Wuxi Province, China;
  9. Taian JNC Industrial Co., Ltd. of Tai’an City, China;
  10. EQ Metal (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. of Shanghai, China; 
  11. Kunshan Xinbei International Trade Co., Ltd. of Jiangsu, China;
  12. Tianjin Xinhai Trade Co., Ltd. of Tianjin, China;
  13. Tianjin Xinlianxin Steel Pipe Co., Ltd. of Tianjin, China;
  14. Tianjin Xinyue Industrial and Trade Co., Ltd. of Tianjin, China; and
  15. Xian Linkun Materials (Steel Pipe Supplies) Co., Ltd. of Xi’an City, China 

The ITC's notice sets out a process for comments (due March 30) and responses (due April 6), after which the ITC will issue a decision. 

 

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CURATED NEWS :

August 14, 2018: Forbes: Trump is Losing his Trade War

August 9, 2018: GOP chairman calls on Trump administration to explain tariff exclusions

June 13, 2018:  American Metal Coalition published summary of worldwide retaliatory tariffs against Section 232 duties. 

May 31, 2018: POTUS Proclaimations on Steel and Aluminum products.  (Since no permanent agreements were reached with Canada, Mexico and the EU, and there was no further exemption, the section 201 duties on steel and Aluminum will end on June 1.)  Argentina, Australia, Brazil and S. Korea imports will be subject to certain exemptions (only Argentina negotiated exemptions from both steel and Aluminum). 

May 31, 2018: Canada and the EU published retaliation lists.  Canada's retaliation list.  Comments can be filed as to the Canadian list (due June 15th). Two EU retaliation lists exist. 

May 31, 2018: China cuts tariffs on 1,449 categories of goods from most favored nations will be reduced by an overall average of about 60 percent.  China also announced a new negative list will be published by June 30 possibly reducing investment barriers.

May 31, 2018: CBP: CSMS #18-000372: Additional Duty on Imports of Steel and Aluminum Articles under Section 232.  (Note: when Section 301 duties go into effect, certain products may be subject to both Section 232 and Section 301 duties.)

May 31, 2018: ITC issues Version: 2018 HTSA Revision 5 (includes provisions related to 232 quota and duties.)

May 30, 2018: Canada: "Totally unacceptable"

May 29, 2018: POTUS: White House Statement: Section 301 tariffs to be finalized, despite US-China discussions.  China MOFOCOM's response ("both surprised and unsurprised"). 

May 24, 2018: Commerce: announcement of the self-initiates a Section 232 investigation on the national security impact of auto importations. 

May 21, 2018: CBP: CSMS #18-000352: Submitting Imports of Products Excluded from Duties on Imports of Steel or Aluminum

May 19, 2018:  United States and China:  Joint Statement Regarding Trade Consultations

May 19, 2018: CBP: CSMS #18-000349: Draft ES CATAIR Posted in Support of Tariff Rate Adjustments and Section 232 Exclusions

April 30, 2018:  At the last moment, Trump extends AL and Steel exclusions for allies.

April 30, 2018: CSMS #18-000316: Quota announcement on S. Korean Steel Mills.

April 18, 2018:  Sens. Wyden & Hatch level a pointed critique of the 232 exemption process.

April 12, 2018: ITC ends 337 investigation without exclusions on China steel companies (U.S. Steel didn't push for exclusions).

April 6, 2018: POTUS: Statement on China Trade War: directing USTR to look at additional tariffs and to plan for the protection of US industry (farmers).

April 6, 2018: CIT denies Severstal attempt to block sec 232 duties.

April 5, 2018:  Reuters: China tariffs to go into effect Monday.

April 5, 2018:  Reuters: China tariffs in response to sec. 232 tariffs to go into effect Monday.

April 5, 2018: CBP: CSMS #18-000258: Update: Section 232 and Immediate Transportation Entries

March 28, 2018:  Severstal files suit to enjoin steel tariffs as unconstitutional; briefings due April 10.

March 27, 2017:  Canada announces measures to avoid transshipment of metal products.  (in keeping with its obligations under its exclusion from 232 duties)

March 22, 2018: CSMS #18-000240: Customs' Implementation of Sec. 232 Duties

March 22, 2018: China: Sec. 232 Retaliation List

March 21, 2018: Commerce: Announcement of Ross meeting with EU foreshadows a potential EU exemption.  Discussions ongoing South Korea, Australia, Argentina.  Brazil to join discussions.

March 21, 2018, Nakachi overview  of the Steel/Al exemption process.

March 21, 2018: ITC: Decision to terminate 377 price fixing investigation on steel.

March 17, 2018:  BIS: NPRN on Exclusion process for Steel and Aluminum products from section 232 duties.

March 2, 2018:  Client Advisory: Gazing into the Crystal Ball for Steel & AL.

NPR: Article: U.S. Plan For Steel And Aluminum Tariffs Prompts Global Backlash

March 1, 2018: POTUS announces section 232 duties will be imposed 25% for steel products, and 10% for Aluminum products.