On March 22, 2018, President Trump signed Presidential Proclamation Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States and Presidential Proclamation Adjusting Imports of Steel into the United States which amend Proclamations 9704 and 9705 to grant relief until May 1, 2018 from the 10% aluminum tariffs and 25% steel tariffs to Canada, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, South Korea, Brazil, and the member countries of the European Union to permit discussions with these countries to continue. The proclamations also leave open the possibility of extending the exemptions and/or imposing quotas.

The new proclamations further amend the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States as follows:

  • The reference to “7304.10” in clause 1 of Proclamation 9705, is amended to read “7304.11”;
  • (For steel) paragraph (a) of U.S. note 16, of subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS and the article description for 9903.80.01 will cover Canada, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, South Korea, Brazil, and the member countries of the European Union; and
  • (For aluminum): paragraph (a) of U.S. note 19 of subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS, and the article description for 9903.85.01 will cover Canada, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, South Korea, Brazil, and the member countries of the European Union.

The new proclamations add additional considerations for granting exclusions pursuant to Clause 3 of Proclamations 9704 and 9705, by adding that relief (exclusions) may be provided to directly affected parties on a party-by-party basis taking into account the regional availability of particular articles, the ability to transport articles within the United States, and any other factors as the Secretary deems appropriate. In addition, each of the original proclamations is amended to make relief retroactive to the date the request for exclusion was posted for public comment.

Aluminum and steel articles entered into a foreign trade zone (FTZ) on or after 12:01 a.m. EDT on March 23, 2018 must be admitted into “privileged foreign status” as defined by 19 C.F.R. 146.41 and will be subject upon entry for consumption to any ad valorem rates of duty related to the classification under the applicable HTSUS subheading. Aluminum and steel articles that were admitted into an FTZ under “privileged foreign status” prior to 12:01 a.m. EDT on March 23, 2018, will likewise be subject upon entry for consumption to any ad valorem rates of duty related to the classification under applicable HTSUS subheadings imposed by Proclamations 9704 or 9705, as amended by the March 22 proclamations.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued CSMS# 18-000240 on March 22, 2018 explaining how the covered products must be entered and how rejected entries will be handled. CBP notes that the merchandise covered by the additional duties may also be subject to antidumping and countervailing duties.