On May 31, 2018, the Department of Commerce announced the imposition of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum products from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union (EU). The 25 percent tariff on imported steel and the 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum products officially took effect on June 1, 2018. Canada, Mexico, and the EU had been temporarily exempted from the Section 232 tariffs during the ongoing renegotiation of NAFTA and trade discussions with the EU.
In response to the Section 232 measures, all three countries immediately condemned President Trump’s decision to eliminate the temporary country exemptions.
Canada unveiled a trade-restrictive tariff list valued at over $12.8 billion worth of U.S. products that will take effect on July 1, 2018 and will remain in place until the U.S. terminates the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada. The scope of countermeasures is separated into two tables. Table 1 includes steel and aluminum products, which will be subject to a 25 percent duty; while goods selected from Table 2 will be subject to a 10 percent duty. Canada lodged a WTO challenge last Friday and is also asking for the establishment of a NAFTA dispute settlement panel.
Earlier in May, the EU also published two retaliation lists targeting American exports that could reach up to $7.5 billion. The first phase of tariffs will be implemented on June 20th, which will equal 2.8 billion euros (over $3.3 billion USD) worth of U.S. goods. The second phase will either be implemented on March 23, 2021, or the 5th day following the date of the adoption by, or notification to, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body of a ruling that the U.S. Section 232 tariffs violate the WTO Agreement, whichever comes first.
Mexico announced on June 4 that it “will initiate a dispute settlement process against the U.S. at the WTO.” Furthermore, Mexico’s Ministry of Economy published a list of U.S. goods that will be subject to equivalent measures to the Section 232 tariffs – including flat steel, lamps, pork legs, sausages, food preparations, apples, grapes, blueberries, various cheeses, and other products.
Please click here for the full list in Spanish.