Recent Trade & Tariff Perspectives

April 6, 2022  |  Anahi Czeszewski  Product Development Manager

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Agreement Reached Between the United States and United Kingdom Regarding Steel and Aluminum Imports

Following months of negotiations to seek a path toward a dispute resolution concerning the Section 232 tariffs on certain goods imported from the United Kingdom (UK), an agreement was reached on March 22, 2022. Though this deal lifts the aluminum and steel tariffs levied by the Trump administration, a closer look is needed at the tariff-rate quotas that were established as part of this agreement—read on to ensure you are proactively prepared.

Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs: A background

In 2018, the Trump administration imposed duties on aluminum and steel articles under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 from numerous trading partners, including the European Union (EU)—which at the time included the UK. Since then, under the Biden administration, in efforts to “rebuild and strengthen relationships with…vital allies and partners, while working together to address unfair practices,” agreements on this front have been established with trading partners including the EU, Japan, and the UK.

Agreement with the EU

Specific to the agreement with the EU, following an October 31, 2021 joint statement, a tariff-rate quota (TRQ) process was established for imports of aluminum and steel articles from the member countries of the EU, effective January 1, 2022. As a result, imported aluminum and steel articles from the EU are now subject to a TRQ. Notably, aluminum and steel derivatives from the EU are no longer subject to Section 232 additional duties. As part of this agreement, the EU agreed to suspend its related retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.

Agreement with Japan

On February 7, 2022, the United States and Japan jointly announced a similar Section 232 tariff agreement—with TRQs taking effect April 1, 2022. This deal only encompasses steel imports from Japan, allowing Japan to ship up to 1.25 million tons of steel annually, with no Section 232 additional duties. Section 232 additional duties for aluminum imports from Japan remain in effect.

Agreement with the UK

Most recently in March, a joint statement announced a newly formed agreement between the United States and UK regarding the treatment of Section 232 tariffs. Similar to the agreement with the EU, TRQs on aluminum and steel imports will be in effect—and are set to begin June 1, 2022. Aluminum and steel derivatives from the UK will no longer be subject to Section 232 additional duties. This agreement requires the UK to lift retaliatory tariffs on over $500 million worth of U.S. products—including distilled spirits, various agriculture products, and consumer goods.

Tariff-rate quotas: A closer look

As with the agreements outlined above, associated aluminum and steel products from the EU and UK, and aluminum products from Japan that are in-quota, will enter free of any Section 232 additional duty. This means only certain aggregate annual import volume limits under each category will be allowed to enter to be considered in-quota—and thus, enter free of any Section 232 additional duties.

As such, an additional 10 percent (aluminum) and 25 percent (steel) ad valorem Section 232 duty rate will be imposed for applicable imports in excess of the TRQ quantities. Ensure you continue to stay informed on weekly status updates on TRQs by reviewing commodity status reports published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

How can C.H. Robinson help?

Remaining proactively informed in this continuously evolving customs and trade environment can be overwhelming. Fortunately, your supply chain does not need to navigate these changes alone. Continue to stay in the know on this and other trade topics by subscribing to our Client Advisories and Trade and Tariff Insights to be notified when new developments emerge. You can also connect with one of our trade policy experts to learn even more.



Our information is compiled from a number of sources that to the best of our knowledge are accurate and correct. It is always the intent of our company to present accurate information. C.H. Robinson accepts no liability or responsibility for the information published herein.

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