Dear Valued Customer:

Announcement of Additional Exclusions to Section 232 Duties on Steel & Aluminum

President Donald Trump has imposed additional tariffs on steel and aluminum imports by proclamations 9704 and 9705 under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862) that will goes into effect today, March 23, 2018.

The controversial plan to levy hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminum initially exempted only Canada and Mexico, but CBP has announced additional exclusions via CSMS message today. The message announced that the following countries will now be excepted as of March 23 through April 30, 2018:

Canada, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, South Korea, Brazil and member countries of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom)

The message also notes that as of May 1, 2018 ALL countries of origin are potentially subject to the additional duties. According to a Whitehouse statement posted on its website on March 22, “By May 1, 2018, the President will decide whether to continue to exempt these countries from the tariffs, based on the status of the discussions,” and “The European Union will negotiate on behalf of its member countries. In addition, the statement said, “The Administration will closely monitor imports of steel and aluminum imports from exempted countries, and the United States Trade Representative, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the National Economic Council, may advise the President to impose quotas as appropriate.”

For imports from countries of origin and products subject to Section 232 that are entered on/after March 23, additional duties will be assessed in the amounts of 25% against steel mill products under subheading 9903.80.01 and 10% against aluminum products under subheading 9903.85.01.

In addition, to the county exclusions, the Commerce Department has announced procedures for seeking exclusions from the increased tariffs on articles for which there “is a lack of sufficient U.S. production capacity of comparable products,” or “for specific national security-based considerations. The announcement was published in a Federal Register notice announcing an “interim final rule” setting forth “Requirements for Submissions Requesting Exclusions From the Remedies Instituted in Presidential Proclamations Adjusting Imports of Steel Into the United States and Adjusting Imports of Aluminum Into the United States; and the Filing of Objections to Submitted Exclusion Requests for Steel and Aluminum.”

This rule identifies the parties authorized to file exclusion requests, the information they must provide and the procedures that will govern disposition of requests. To be accepted for consideration, an exclusion request must be filed by an individual or organization that uses aluminum, or steel, “in business activities (e.g., construction, manufacturing, or supplying [the] product to users) in the United States.” Objections to exclusion requests may be filed by “[a]ny individual or organization in the United States.”

Requests for exclusions and objections must be submitted electronically to the regulations portal, using one of the forms adopted for this purpose by Commerce. They are limited to 25 pages “inclusive of all exhibits and attachments, but exclusive of the respective forms.”

A successful exclusion request does not necessarily benefit parties other than the submitter. Exclusions will be approved “on a product basis and . . . be limited to the individual or organization that submitted the specific exclusion request, unless Commerce approves a broader application of the product-based exclusion request to apply to additional importers.”

Exclusions will remain in effect for a year, but will only be effective 5 days after the date of issuance; there is no provision for retroactive application.

Thank you for your attention and cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact your nearest JJB representative.

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