Biden Adjusts Steel Import Tariffs To Close Loophole Amid National Security Concerns

Written from press release

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 10, 2024) — President Joe Biden announced a new proclamation today aimed at adjusting the importation of steel into the United States, citing national security concerns. The move, effective immediately, introduces stricter measures on steel imports from Mexico and reinforces existing tariffs.

The proclamation revisits a series of actions initiated in 2018 when then-President Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. This tariff, however, excluded Canada and Mexico, pending satisfactory security arrangements.

According to the White House, the Secretary of Commerce has reported that domestic steel producers’ capacity utilization remains below the target of 80 percent. Additionally, there has been a significant increase in steel imports from Mexico. In light of these findings, the Biden administration has decided to implement a “melt and pour” requirement for steel imports from Mexico. This means that to be exempt from tariffs, steel must be melted and poured in Mexico, Canada, or the United States.

“These measures will provide an effective, long-term solution to the threat posed by steel imports from Mexico,” President Biden stated. “They are designed to limit transshipment, curb excess steel production, and maintain the stability of our domestic steel industry.”

The new regulations stipulate that steel products melted and poured in countries other than Mexico, Canada, or the United States will face increased tariffs. The proclamation also directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to enforce these new requirements.

The administration will monitor the effectiveness of these measures and may adjust the policy if needed. The goal is to ensure that steel imports do not undermine U.S. national security or the competitiveness of American steel producers.

This decision follows a history of adjustments to steel import tariffs, including a previous modification in 2019 when Mexico was initially excluded from the tariffs after agreeing to measures that stabilized its steel export levels.

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