US DOC releases recommendations for steel tariffs or quotas under Section 232

US Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross publicly released his recommendations to the president following the conclusion of the Section 232 investigation into steel imports, with three import remedy options:

  1. A global 24 percent tariff on all steel imports from all countries.
  2. A tariff of at least 53 percent on steel imports from Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
  3. A quota on all steel products from the aforementioned countries equal to 63 percent of their exports to the US in 2017. All other countries could export 100 percent of their 2017 export levels to the US, but would still be subject to tariffs.

Additionally, if implemented, the tariff or quota options would be in addition to any duties already in place.

The US DOC also recommends a process be put in place to allow US companies to request exclusions from specific steel products if the US steel industry lacks sufficient domestic capacity to replace the imports, or for national security reasons. Any exclusions granted result in changed tariffs or quotas for the remaining products to maintain the overall effect.

President Trump has until April 11 to make a decision.

The US DOC expects each of these remedies to increase US domestic steel production from its current capacity utilization rate of 73 percent to 80 percent.

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