On May 31, 2018, President Trump signed two new presidential proclamations adjusting steel and aluminum duties initiated under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
These ended temporary exemptions of duties for imports of steel and aluminum products from the European Union (EU), Canada, and Mexico. As a result, a 25 percent duty on steel products and a 10 percent duty on aluminum products are now being collected on imports from those countries.
President Trump originally announced the Section 232 tariffs on March 8, 2018. However, on March 22, he temporarily exempted imports of steel and aluminum from Australia, Argentina, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and EU member countries from the tariffs until May 1, 2018. President Trump subsequently extended this deadline to June 1.
The most recent May 31 proclamations continued tariff exemptions for imports from Brazil, Argentina, and South Korea, as those countries negotiated quotas restricting steel and aluminum exports to the U.S. The Proclamations announced the aggregate limits of imports from Argentina and Brazil, while the administration previously announced specific quota amounts for steel products from South Korea on April 30, 2018. The only country exempted from the tariffs and not subject to quotas is Australia.
A statement issued by the White House noted that “measures are in place to address the impairment to the national security threatened by imports of steel and aluminum from Argentina, Brazil, and Australia” and that “similar measures are not in place with respect to steel or aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada, or the European Union.” The statement also said “the Administration will continue discussions with [Mexico, Canada, and the European Union] and remains open to discussions with other countries.”