In 2018, President Trump imposed Section 232 duties of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum through a series of proclamations issued under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The Trade Expansion Act of 1962 authorizes the president to adjust import duties for goods that are imported in such quantities or under such circumstances as threaten to impair the national security of the United States.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) recently published a proposed rule in the Federal Register changing the exclusions request process for Section 232 duties on steel and aluminum products. The proposed rule affects both parties requesting an exclusion from the Section 232 duties and parties objecting to such an exclusion. The opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed rule ends October 12, 2023.
Section 232 duties are currently 25 % on steel products and 10% on aluminum products from a number of different countries. Key proposed revisions include: (1) modification of the criteria for General Approved Exclusions (GAEs); (2) the creation of a General Denied Exclusions (GDEs) process; (3) the modification of certification language and the requirement for evidence of sourcing attempts for exclusion requests; and (4) the introduction of new certification language on forms for those objecting to exclusions.
The proposed rule impacts those requesting an exclusion and objecting to a requested exclusion. The new provisions include a requirement to provide supporting evidence with certifications for both requestors and objectors. This proposed rule impacts all producers and users of steel and aluminum products.
In another development affecting steel and aluminum, on August 15 Mexico imposed expanded tariffs on 483 products, including steel and aluminum, from between 5 and 25% until July 31, 2025, from countries such as China with which Mexico does not have a free trade agreement. Products from countries such as the United States and the countries of the EU with which Mexico has preferential trade agreements are not affected.
Companies and individuals impacted by the proposed rule should strongly consider commenting to BIS before the October 12, 2023 deadline. Buchanan has a coordinated team with deep international trade and national security experience who are here to assist with all aspects of these matters.