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White House Continues Suspension of 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Imports until June 1 for sever

Late on April 30, the President issued new steel and aluminum proclamations to:

  1. Suspend until June 1, tariffs on steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. The extension has been described as a “final” extension as the administration seeks to negotiate outcomes that will impose “quotas that will restrain imports, prevent transshipment, and protect the national security.”

  2. Suspend indefinitely steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Argentina, Australia and Brazil, with which the administration indicated it had reached preliminary agreements that will be finalized in 30 days.

  3. Suspend indefinitely steel tariffs on imports from South Korea in recognition of the final quota agreement with South Korea.

Following the issuance of reports by the U.S. Department of Commerce in January 2018, pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the President issued proclamations on March 8, 2018, directing the imposition of a 25 percent tariff on all steel imports (Proclamation 9705) and a 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports (Proclamation 9704). On March 22, just before tariffs were imposed, President Trump issued new steel and aluminum proclamations that temporarily suspended the tariffs until May 1 for the following countries: Countries of the European Union, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea.

On March 28, the United States and South Korea agreed to a deal relating to the section 232 steel investigation alongside a deal to update the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Under this agreement, Korean steel imports would be exempted from tariffs, but would be subject to a product-specific quota equivalent to 70 percent of the average annual import volume of steel products during the 2015-2017 period. Further details of this arrangement were being discussed in Washington, D.C. by U.S. and Korean negotiators last week and more detail is expected soon.

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