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November 9, 2020

Trump Administration Will Not Hit Mexican Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel With Tariffs

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) pledged on November 5 to exempt imports of steel used in electricity transmission from Mexico from any action to adjust imports of electrical transformers and related parts that may be adopted by the United States under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

The statement, available here, came after representatives from the U.S. and Mexican governments concluded consultations to address the trans-shipment of grain-oriented electrical steel from outside the North American region into the United States.

During those meetings, the Mexican government agreed to establish a strict monitoring regime for exports of electrical transformer laminations and cores made of non-North American grain-oriented electrical steel. Specifically, from the fourth quarter of 2020 onward, Mexico will closely monitor shipments of these products to the United States.

Additionally, the United States and Mexico will consult at regular intervals on the implementation of these agreed measures and on the state of bilateral trade and market conditions relating to these products.

As Connecting the Dots reported last week, while the Metals Service Center Institute has not taken a stance on this matter, a group of U.S. lawmakers recently wrote a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asking that the Trump administration refrain from imposing Section 232 tariffs on imports of electrical transformers and their components, including grain-oriented electrical steel. Click here to read that story.