In short

On April 5, 2021, the United States Tribunal of International Trade (Court) issued an important ruling that rescinds part of the Section 232 tariffs imposed by President Trump under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (19 USC §1862). The ruling affects duties imposed on US imports of steel and aluminum “derived” products, but not the more general tariffs on steel and aluminum. The court found that President Trump missed the legal deadline when he extended Section 232 tariffs to cover steel and aluminum products more than two years after receiving the Section 232 initial report. In particular, the President did not issue the proclamation expanding duties within 105 days of receiving the investigation report issued by the Secretary of Commerce. The ruling may pave the way for significant relief (i.e. refunds and future imports without Section 232 duties) to importers of these products and also sets an important precedent for the ongoing litigation challenging the claims. Section 301 tariffs imposed on Chinese goods.

This recent decision follows an earlier decision in the same proceeding (Slip Op 21-8, dated January 27, 2021), in which the Court dismissed both the government’s motion to dismiss and the plaintiff’s motion for judgment. summary, meaning the court ordered a further briefing on the crucial issue of the start of the 105-day period. The U.S. government declined to submit further evidence on this issue, and the court concluded that the government therefore waived the argument that it had complied with the 105-day deadline. After finding that the President’s actions were illegal, the Court ordered the liquidation of the covered entries without the assessment of duties and the reimbursement of the prior duties paid by the plaintiff.

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The decision is subject to appeal. However, importers of steel and aluminum products should immediately assess the status of entries and preserve rights to refunds, including through the filing of protests or post-summary corrections. The “derivative” steel products affected by the action include nails, tacks, tacks, corrugated nails, staples, steel stampings for bumpers, certain automotive accessories and steel stampings for bumpers. tractors for agricultural use. The aluminum “derived” products covered by the action include stranded wires, cables, braided bands and slings, whether or not they are steel-core. Further guidance from US Customs and Border Protection may follow, but action is likely needed to get immediate help.

Tariffs of article 301:

In addition, the timeliness of the President’s actions under trade laws is a central issue in the ongoing Section 301 litigation, where nearly 4,000 complaints have been filed challenging the increased tariffs on Chinese imports through two additional “lists” of covered products.

For more details, please contact the authors or lawyer Baker McKenzie with whom you work regularly.

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