MRC Global InSight

Section 232

At the beginning of the year, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s recommendations concerning the import of steel mill products and wrought and unwrought aluminum products to President Trump were published. In this report, the Commerce Department made several suggested remedies to address the problem of high import levels in the U.S. The President has broad powers under the provisions of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose all, some or none of these recommendations.

The final proclamation, commonly referred to as Section 232, instituted a 25% tariff on all steel imports and a 10% tariff on all aluminum imports into the U.S. Some countries, notably Canada and Mexico, were provided a temporary exemption. However, those exemptions expired and imports from these countries are now subject to the tariffs as part of Section 232. The tariffs went into effect on March 23, 2018.

This proclamation has significantly increased pricing for the global stainless and carbon PFF supply chain.

In late September 2018, the U.S., Canada and Mexico entered into a new trade treaty to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As of this magazine’s publication, the new deal, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (or the USMCA), does not impact Section 232 tariffs that the U.S. has imposed.