President Trump issued a proclamation on Jan. 24 to impose further Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs. The proclamation has been published in the Federal Register. The Department of Commerce (DOC) released two documents, “Annex 1” for aluminum and “Annex 2” for steel, that detail what products will be impacted by the new tariffs. Motor vehicle products affected include some bumper and body stampings for automobiles and tractors.
“The Secretary [of Commerce] has informed me that domestic steel producers’ capacity utilization has not stabilized for an extended period of time at or above the 80 percent capacity utilization level identified in his report as necessary to remove the threatened impairment of the national security,” the president stated in his proclamation, referencing reports sent to him in January 2018 on the investigations conducted by the Secretary on the effect of steel and aluminum imports on national security.
“Stabilizing at that level is important to provide the industry with a reasonable expectation that market conditions will prevail long enough to justify the investment necessary to ramp up production to a sustainable and profitable level,” the president added. “Capacity utilization in the aluminum industry has improved, but it is still below the target capacity utilization that the Secretary recommended in his report.”
The new proclamation takes effect on Feb. 8 and will apply to imports from all countries already subject to steel and aluminum tariffs. Some derivative aluminum products will be subject to an additional 10 percent duty, while some derivative steel products will be subject to an additional 25 percent duty.