No Immediate Auto Tariffs – Section 232 Duties Postponed For 180 Days

On May 17, 2019, President Trump officially signed a proclamation postponing for 180 days a final decision on whether to impose Section 232 national security tariffs on imports of automobiles and automobile parts. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) now has 180 days to pursue trade negotiations with the European Union (EU), Japan, and possibly other countries.
In May 2018, following the imposition of a 25 percent duty on imports of steel raw materials and a 10 percent duty on aluminum raw materials, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) initiated a third investigation under Section 232 (a Cold War-era trade law) to determine whether imports of automobiles (including SUVs, vans and light trucks) and automotive parts into the United States threatened to impair the country’s national security.
The President faced a statutory deadline of May 18, 2019, to decide whether to impose the auto tariffs following a report from Commerce. The May 17, 2019, Presidential Proclamation found that the present quantities and circumstances of auto imports and parts significantly threatened U.S. national security. However, the President concurred with the Commerce’s recommendation that the U.S. should pursue negotiations with its trading partners (particularly the EU and Japan) to seek limitations on the subject imports.
If agreements are not reached within 180 days, the President will determine whether and what further action needs to be taken. 

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