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U.S. Department of Commerce Allows Steel and Aluminum Duties Exemption

  • Author:Dong Xing
  • Release on:2018-03-26
U.S. President Trump announced on the 8th this month that due to the importation of steel and aluminum products that endanger US "national security", it will levy a 25% tariff on imported steel products and impose a 10% tariff on imported aluminum products. Tariff measures will take effect on the 23rd of this month.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on the 19th that from that date on, U.S. companies could apply to the Ministry of Commerce to waive the steel and aluminum tariffs(5052 aluminum strip on sale) to be imposed soon.

The reason why the U.S. Department of Commerce allows U.S. domestic companies to apply for exemption is mainly because domestic producers cannot produce certain steel and aluminum products(Aluminum plate 7075/ 6061/2024), or the output cannot meet the demand. The Ministry of Commerce anticipates that it will receive 4,500 applications for steel tariff waiver and 1,500 applications for aluminum tariff waiver. The Ministry of Commerce stated that it will make a decision on whether to agree to exemption of tariffs within 90 days after receiving the application.

In addition to domestic companies in the United States that can apply for exemption, other countries can also apply for exemption of steel and aluminum tariffs(Aluminum sheet for boat 5083), the specific negotiations by the U.S. Trade Representative Office. However, the U.S. government has not disclosed the progress of the negotiations.

The Trump administration's levying high tariffs on steel and aluminum products has caused strong opposition from the international community. The European Union, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, and Australia have all indicated that they will take countermeasures. The European Commission Chairman Juncker said that the EU will respond firmly to defend the interests of the European Union.

Wang Hejun, director of the Trade Relief and Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, previously stated that the U.S. measures are in the name of national security, and the protection of trade is implemented. He also said that China urges the United States to respect the authority of the multilateral trading system and to withdraw relevant measures as soon as possible.