What’s happening right now?

The U.S. government's decision to impose Section 232 and 301 tariffs has received significant attention.

Here’s a quick recap:

On March 8, 2018, President Trump issued two Presidential Proclamations announcing the imposition of special Section 232 duties on certain steel and aluminum products. Shortly thereafter, on March 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued an interim rule in the Federal Register establishing a new process by which organizations may submit requests to exclude their products from Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Three days later, on March 22, 2018, President Trump announced his decision to take action against what he terms as China’s unfair trade practices. These are outlined in the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Section 301 investigation report of China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation, which you can find here. As part of the U.S. response, the USTR proposed an additional tariff of 25 percent on a list of products imported from China. The list of products, which is defined by 8-digit HTS subheadings, is set out in this Federal Register noticeThe new Section 301 tariffs could potentially affect over 1,300 HTS lines.

Both Section 232 and 301 tariffs are in addition to other general or special duties that may apply. It is important to remember that special duties – such as antidumping and countervailing (ADD/CVD) – continue to be a high priority issue in the international trade arena. Regardless of the impact made by the above tariffs, U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to actively monitor and audit high-risk antidumping and countervailing activity.