U.S. Commerce Department Grants Product-Specific Exemptions To Steel And Aluminum Tariffs

Author:Mr Asa Markel
Profession:Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd.

This past week, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that it will be excluding 42 steel products on behalf of seven different companies, from the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the United States. The Section 232 tariffs, which include a 25% duty on imported steel and a 10% duty on imported aluminum, apply to steel originating from any country in the world except for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and Korea. However, aluminum from Brazil and Korea is still subject to the aluminum tariff. The Commerce Department also announced that it was denying another 56 product exclusion requests filed by eleven other companies.

The Commerce Department's announcement is the first tangible result for U.S. importers of steel, since the product exclusion request regulations were published on March 19. Now that major suppliers of steel to the U.S. market, including Canada and the European Union are no longer exempt from the tariffs, product-specific exclusions will be much more important to U.S. importers of foreign steel. The government of Japan in particular stated in March that it expected Japanese steel producers to successfully make use of product-specific exclusions. Four of the seven successful importers, whose exclusions were announced on June 20, obtained exclusions for Japan-origin steel.

Imports subject to the steel and aluminum tariffs are also not eligible for duty drawback, or duty-free treatment under the General System of...

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