U.S. Expands Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

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The White House recently issued a new proclamation expanding steel and aluminum tariffs to include products where steel and aluminum comprise two-thirds or more of the value of the good.

The proclamation issued Friday, January 24, came from a recommendation from the Commerce Department, which determined that the pre-existing tariff coverage was falling short of getting domestic steel producers to the goal of boosting capacity utilization to 80 percent or more. The tariffs fall under a law that allows the president to put in place trade restrictions to protect national security.

The tariffs mainly cover nails and staples, car and tractor parts, and electrical wire that have apparently seen import surges. The 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent duty on aluminum apply to those products starting at 12:01 a.m. ET on Feb. 8.

Quota countries received exemptions (for steel: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea; for aluminum: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Mexico), though Commerce and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) will monitor imports from these countries for surges.

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