On August 31, 2020, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published a press release announcing measures to continue protecting the United States’ steel industry. The most recent protections focus on steel imports from Mexico and Brazil.
To address recent surges in imports of certain steel products—standard pipe, mechanical tubing, and semi-finished products—Mexico has agreed to “establish a strict export monitoring regime for these products through June 1, 2021.” Mexico will continue to be exempt from the Section 232 duties on these imports. The US and Mexico will consult in December 2020 to assess the state of trade of these products.
Brazil also benefits from exemption from Section 232 duties on steel products brought into the US. The press release stated, “In light of recent deterioration in market conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic affecting domestic steel producers, the United States has deemed it necessary to reduce the remaining quota for Brazilian semi-finished steel products for the remainder of 2020 to 60,000 metric tons, down from 350,000, but will maintain existing quotas for other steel products.” Consultations regarding the 2021 semi-finished steel quota between the US and Brazil will take place in December.