Trump allows targeted relief on steel, aluminium quotas
30 August 2018
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed proclamations allowing quota reliefs on steel and aluminium imports from select countries, the Commerce Department said.
Trump signed proclamations allowing relief from the quotas on steel from South Korea, Brazil and Argentina and on aluminium from Argentina, retracting tariffs imposed on steel and aluminium imports in March.
Trump said he has “authorised commerce secretary Wilbur Ross to exclude from any adopted import restrictions those steel articles for which the secretary determines there is a lack of sufficient domestic production of comparable products, or for specific national security-based considerations.
“I have determined to authorise the secretary to provide relief from quantitative limitations on steel articles adopted pursuant to section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended, including those set forth in Proclamation 9740 of April 30, 2018 (Adjusting Imports of Steel Into the United States), and Proclamation 9759 of May 31, 2018 (Adjusting Imports of Steel Into the United States), on the same basis as the Secretary is currently authorised to provide relief from the duty established in clause 2 of Proclamation 9705.”
“Companies can apply for product exclusions based on insufficient quantity or quality available from US steel or aluminium producers,” the commerce department said. “In such cases, an exclusion from the quota may be granted and no tariff would be owed.”
The tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico took effect on 1 June, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on May 31 that arrangements had been made with some countries to have non-tariff limits on their exports of the two metals to the United States.
Trump, citing national security concerns, placed tariffs of 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium imports.
Ross said the arrangement with South Korea was for a quota of 70 per cent of average steel exports to the United States in the years 2015 to 2017.
The Brazilian government said at the time the US quotas and tariffs on Brazil's steel and aluminium exports were unjustified but that it remained open to negotiate a solution. Brazilian semi-finished steel exports to the United States are subject to quotas based on the average for the three years from 2015-2017, while finished steel products will be limited to a quota of 70 per cent of the average for those years.