Battles continue as steel, aluminum tariffs go into effect Friday
March 19, 2018
As President Donald Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum go into effect on Friday, the Commerce Department announced the process for American companies to ask for exclusions from the tariffs while opponents of the tariffs continue to note their potential impact.
Citing national security concerns, Trump has announced his administration will impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. Trump has already said the tariffs will not be imposed on Mexican and Canadian steel and aluminum pending the outcome of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and that countries Trump considers allies can apply for exemptions. American companies that say they need imported steel can also apply for the exemptions.
Farm leaders fear that the tariffs will result in China, the European Union and other countries retaliating by reducing imports of U.S. farm products.
Today the Commerce Department published a rule in the Federal Register informing American companies how they can request an exclusion.
"These procedures will allow the administration to further hone these tariffs to ensure they protect our national security while also minimizing undue impact on downstream American industries," said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. "Starting tomorrow, domestic industry will be able to apply for exclusions through a fair and transparent process run through Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security."
Only individuals or organizations using steel or aluminum articles identified in Presidential Proclamations 9704 and 9705 and engaged in business activities in the United States may submit exclusion requests, the Commerce Department said. Exclusion requests will be posted for a 30-day comment period on regulations.gov.
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Ross, in consultation with other administration officials, will evaluate exclusion requests, taking into account national security considerations, Commerce said.
A single response to each exclusion request will be posted on regulations.gov.
Today Ross met with German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier.
In a joint statement, Ross and Altmaier said, "We had a very constructive preliminary exchange on all relevant matters in our economic relationships with an eye toward relaxing trade tensions. We anticipate further discussions over the next few days."
European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström will meet with Ross in Washington Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss European exemptions, Politico reported.
Meanwhile, The Trade Partnership has published a report that says agriculture will be among the industries hit by retaliation.