Trump Imposes Steel, Aluminum Tariffs on U.S. Allies

May 31, 2018


The Trump administration announced today that it would impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union under Section 232.  Trade penalties will take effect at midnight tonight, said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.  Steel from all countries except Australia, Argentina, and Brazil will be subject to a 25% tariff.  Aluminum from all countries except Australia and Argentina will face a 10 % duty.

The presidential proclamation on iron and steel products says imports from Argentina and Brazil will be subject to quota, in addition to already subject imports from South Korea.  The proclamation on aluminum says quotas will apply to imports from Argentina.  Brazil has reached agreement on an exemption on steel but not aluminum.  Australia is not mentioned in either of the quota provisions.

If you import goods from China that are made of steel or aluminum, they may be covered under these proclamations.

After the tariffs were first announced in March, the countries targeted on Thursday had secured temporary exemptions while the administration continued negotiations.  But Mr. Ross said that although the discussions had continued, there had not been enough progress to warrant another temporary or permanent exemption.

Last year, the U.S. imported 34.6 million metric tons of steel, a 15 percent increase from 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Canada is the largest exporter of steel to the U.S., followed by Brazil, South Korea and Mexico.

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