In 2020, the Trump Administration imposed additional tariffs under Section 232 of the U.S. Trade Expansion Act to include steel products. The addendum called for an extra 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum coming from the European Union and other countries.
As of April 5, 2021, finished steel products will no longer be susceptible to tariff raises, according to a ruling by the US Court of International Trade (CIT). Furthermore, US importers are likely to receive a refund on any past duties paid towards such products.
Initially, these tariffs were imposed with the intention of stimulating domestic manufacturing as well as maintaining the certainty of national security. There were noticeable, successful results with the former: US Steel mills were up by 20% in utilization compared to the period prior to the tariffs being issued. Unfortunately, this progress is combated by the high costs of domestic raw steel and the low demand for overseas imports in the breakbulk industry.
In the first two months of 2021, steel product imports to the United States dropped 11 percent annually, and the numbers are predicted to remain below-average until the Section 232 tariffs are lifted entirely.
The European Union has since made the decision to suspend a June 1 increase on imports of U.S. goods in response to this matter. Both the EU and the United States are hoping to discuss these matters in greater detail in order to come to resolutions before the end of the year. Both sides are focusing on “the deployment of effective solutions, including appropriate trade measures, to preserve our critical industries.”
We are keeping a close eye on the situation as it unfolds, and will provide relevant updates when available. Please feel free to contact John S. Connor with any questions you may have regarding the implementation of this court ruling and the imports affected.