U.S. Lifts Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Imports from Canada and Mexico

May 2019

On May 17, 2019, the U.S. reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico to lift the Section 232, national security tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the two countries, effective May 19, 2019.  In exchange, Canada and Mexico will lift their own retaliatory tariffs in response to the Section 232 actions taken by the United States. The joint U.S.-Canada statement can be read here. The joint U.S.-Mexico statement can be read here.
 
These actions were widely viewed as aimed at facilitating passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Free Trade Agreement, which has been stalled in the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
 
In March 2018, President Trump announced the imposition of national security tariffs—25 percent duties on steel raw materials and 10 percent duties on aluminum raw materials from all countries, while temporarily exempting imports (either all or some) from Australia, Argentina, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.
 
The agreement on May 17, ended the trade tensions between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. According to the agreement, Canada and Mexico will also drop legal proceedings in which they were challenging the U.S. national security duties at the World Trade Organization.  However, the agreement also indicates that all parties intend to retain authority to reinstate the lifted tariffs if a surge in imports occurs and/or consultations about any sudden increase fail.

For more information, please contact a BDO Customs and International Trade Services professional.
 

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