This week, President Trump is expected to impose significant steel and aluminum tariffs. Anticipated tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum may be levied for “a long period of time.” It is unclear if the measures will be taken globally or if some allied countries or products will be exempt. At this time, many sources lean toward global tariffs.
These actions are being taken after the US Commerce Department released their Section 232 investigative reports in coordination with the White House on February 16th. Their analysis concluded that shipments of these commodities “impair the national security of the United States.” According to US law firm, Junker & Nakachi, “Safeguard quotas and safeguard duties are authorized by Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962…” when the Commerce Department makes this determination.
As of Monday, March 5th, the White House tied these new tariffs to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), stating they will only be averted if NAFTA is renegotiated. Foreign governments have expressed concerns, and analysts fear this may spur retaliation. According to the American Journal of Transportation, Canada is the largest foreign supplier of steel to the US and has stated these proposed tariffs are “absolutely unacceptable.” Meanwhile, a Mexican steel industry group has called for “immediate and reciprocal measures,” the European Union vowed to “react firmly,” and the Chinese government is investigating their own commodity-specific restrictions.
Junker & Nakachi provided additional insight in a client advisory dated March 2nd. Deringer will continue to provide updates regarding the planned tariffs. If you have questions, please contact a Deringer service center or send an email to Deringer’s Compliance Department.