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May 29, 2018

Section 232 Steel, Aluminum Country Exemptions Expire On June 1

Temporary exemptions from the Trump administration’s Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs will expire on June 1 for more than 30 countries, including Mexico, Canada, and the countries of the European Union (EU). While it is still unclear whether the Trump administration will extend the exemptions, the European Union (EU) isn’t waiting and has threatened a case before the World Trade Organization regarding the tariffs. India already has filed a case.

The Wall Street Journal did report last week that President Donald Trump is weighing measures to cut European Union steel and aluminum exports to the U.S. by about 10 percent. Additionally, EU negotiators will be in Washington this week to discuss a path forward with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

When it comes to other trading partners that have not received temporary waivers, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said last week that China will not get an exemption on the steel and aluminum tariffs no matter how well ongoing trade negotiations with China are going. Secretary Mnuchin stated clearly: “As it relates to China, the steel and aluminum tariffs will remain enforced. Those were not part of our discussions. … Those are not being touched.”

Requests for product exemptions from the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs continue to pour in to the U.S. Department of Commerce, meanwhile. The Commerce Department is fielding more than 1,300 requests regarding the aluminum penalties and more than 10,200 requests regarding the steel tariffs. Click here for instructions for how to request an exemption.

In related news: the United States government also announced last week that it will raise tariffs on steel from Vietnam that originally came from China. As Manufacturing.net reports, this means importers of corrosion-resistant and cold-rolled flat steel from Vietnam will be required to post deposits to pay possible duties of 39 to 256 percent.