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March 8, 2018Client Alert

Quick Facts: President Trump Imposes Steel and Aluminum Tariff

Steel tariff to be set at 25%, aluminum at 10%:

  • Beyond that, proclamations almost identical
  • To take effect in 15 days
  • Official says may have to raise tariffs modestly on everyone else if Canada, Mexico excluded long-term; adds document flexible enough to allow that

On exclusions:

  • Canada, Mexico will be specifically exempted from both tariffs initially
    • Trump has linked the exemptions to Nafta talks ongoing; exemption isn’t open-ended, official says
  • For other countries, will have ability to modify order owing to national security
    • European countries and others could be able to request exclusion
    • Other countries with a “security relationship” to the United States may seek exemptions by opening talks with the administration on “alternative ways” to address the threats the administration alleges their products pose to national security.
  • NOTE: Trump earlier hinted Australia could have exemption, citing good relationship and close defense ties

On economic impact:

  • White House official says there will be no significant downstream price effects, and thus no significant downstream job effects
    • NOTE: Expectation counters multiple statements and prognostications from several companies and industry groups that use steel and aluminum, as well as lawmakers representing them, who have warned the tariffs will harm their businesses or industries 
  • Only job effects White House sees are positive ones in U.S. steel, aluminum industries
  • Says process extremely, carefully well vetted

Click to view White House Press Releases: President Donald J. Trump is Addressing Unfair Trade Practices That Threaten to Harm Our National Security

President Donald J. Trump will Protect American National Security from the Effects of Unfair Trade Practices

Presidential Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Steel into the United States

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