Overview of the Legal Authority of the US President to Adjust Imports and Duties
I. Overview of Section 232
Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 authorizes the President to “adjust the imports of an article and its derivatives that are being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security.”
In Presidential Proclamation 9705 of March 8, 2018, the President announced an adjustment to the imports of steel articles by imposing a 25 percent ad valorem tariff on steel articles. The “steel articles” subject to the 25 percent tariff are defined at the HTS 6-digit level as: 7206.10 through 7216.50, 7216.99 through 7301.10, 7302.10, 7302.40 through 7302.90, and 7304.10 through 7306.90. Steel articles entered or withdrawn from warehouse consumption on or after 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on March 23, 2018, will be subject to the additional 25 percent ad valorem duty rate.
In Presidential Proclamation 9704 of March 8, 2018, pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the President announced that he would adjust the imports of aluminum articles by imposing a 10 percent ad valorem tariff on aluminum articles. “Aluminum articles” subject to the additional 10 percent ad valorem tariff include: (a) unwrought aluminum (HTS 7601); (b) aluminum bars, rods, and profiles (HTS 7604); (c) aluminum wire (HTS 7605); (d) aluminum plate, sheet, strip, and foil (flat rolled products) (HTS 7606 and 7607); (e) aluminum tubes and pipes and tube and pipe fitting (HTS 7608 and 7609); and (f) aluminum castings and forgings (HTS 76126.96.36.199 and 76188.8.131.52). Aluminum articles described above were subject to the additional 10 percent tariff starting March 23, 2018, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time.
II. Countries Covered by Section 232 Import Duties
For steel, as of June 1, 2018, all countries of origin are covered by Section 232 import duties, except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and South Korea. For aluminum, as of June 1, 2018, all countries of origin are covered by Section 232 except Argentina and Australia.
III. Filing Instructions
Importers should report steel articles to their regular Chapter 72 or 73 HTS classification as well as the HTS classification for imported merchandise subject to the additional duty, 9903.80.01. Importers must report aluminum articles based on their regular Chapter 76 HTS classification and must also report HTS classification 9903.85.01 for the additional 10 percent duty.
IV. Duty Drawback
No duty drawback is available with respect to the additional duty imposed on aluminum and steel articles.
V. Section 232 Exclusions
On March 19, 2018, the United States Department of Commerce published the procedures to request exclusion from the steel and aluminum tariffs in the Federal Register. Only individuals or organizations using steel or aluminum articles defined above in business activities in the United States may submit exclusion requests. Approved exclusions are made on a product basis, unless Commerce approves a broader application of the product based exclusion. An exclusion will only be granted if an article is not produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount, is not produced in the United States in a satisfactory quality, or for a specific national security consideration.
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