Yesterday, President Trump signed two Presidential Proclamations imposing tariffs on imported aluminum and steel beginning March 23, 2018. As anticipated, a 25 percent tariff was applied to imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum. Canada and Mexico are exempted from the tariff, but the Proclamation states that “ongoing discussions” will take place and both countries will need to help “prevent transshipment” of the commodities.
The Proclamations also include a clause to provide relief for the demand of any steel or aluminum that is not sufficiently available from domestic sources—or in the case that the commodity’s exclusion poses specific national security considerations. Exclusion requests must be made by an affected party with a location in the US. The process for seeking exemption will not be published until March 18th.
Similar safeguard tariffs were recently implemented for solar panels, which also included exclusion considerations. The exception criteria for steel and aluminum may be applied similarly, and, therefore may include:
- Clearly identified products, such as physical characteristics, distinguishable from the products subject to the tariffs; however, producer, importer, ultimate consumer, country or origin, and trademarks cannot be specified in the request.
- The following factors may be considered:
- Names and locations of producers, domestically and internationally;
- Total US consumption, projected consumption, and related information relating to the product quantity, value, and its consumers;
- Typical use or application of the product;
- Availability and feasibility of using US-produced substitutes, as well as identity of their manufacturers;
- Benefits to long-term competitiveness;
- Ability of US Customs and Border Protection to administer the exclusion; and any other relevant data.
- The exclusion may not “undermine the objectives of the safeguard measure.”
Additional information, including specific harmonized tariff schedule classifications, is available in the Presidential Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Steel and the Presidential Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Aluminum. As additional information becomes available, we will provide updates. If you have questions, please contact a Deringer service center or send an email to Deringer’s Compliance Department.