On March 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) released its interim final rule amending the National Security Industrial Base Regulations by adding two new supplements establishing the process that U.S. importers must follow to request product-specific exclusions from the steel and aluminum tariffs that will take effect on March 23.
The interim final rule follows the issuance of the Steel and Aluminum 232 Reports released in February 2018, which addressed concerns over dumping steel and aluminum into the United States. Specifically, the reports found that the U.S. is the world’s largest importer of steel, with global excess capacity of steel amounting to nearly 700 million tons (almost seven times the annual total of U.S. steel consumption). The reports also indicated that aluminum imports into the United States have risen to 90 percent of total demand for primary aluminum, up from 66 percent, since 2012.1 In both cases, the Trump Administration imposed increased tariffs of 25 percent and 10 percent for steel and aluminum, respectively, to address the national security implications of dumping of these metals into the United States.
The interim final rule establishes the procedure by which importers can request for certain aluminum and steel products to be excluded from the tariffs if:
- the aluminum or steel articles are determined not to be produced in the U.S. in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality; or
- based upon specific national security considerations.