US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security revised aspects of the process for requesting exclusions from the duties and quantitative limitations on imports of aluminium and steel discussed in three previous interim final rules implementing the exclusion process authorized by the President under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
There are three key changes to the exclusion process:
1. The revised rule addresses the need to create a more efficient method for approving exclusions where objections have not been received in the past for certain steel or aluminium articles. This change will result in an estimated immediate decrease of 5,000 exclusion requests annually, resulting in a significant improvement in efficiency, with the possibility of more in the future. Unlike exclusion requests, General Approved Exclusions do not include quantity limits.
2. The revised rule addresses a trend identified by commenters and validated in data reviewed by Commerce that certain exclusion requesters may have requested more volume than they may have needed for their own business purposes compared to past usage. This issue is addressed by adding a new certification requirement for volumes requested.
3. The revised rule addresses an objector concern they were being held to a higher standard than foreign suppliers because of the interpretation that immediately meant the objector needed to be able to provide the steel or aluminium articles within 8 weeks, even though a foreign supplier may not be able to provide the same steel or aluminium article until much longer than 8 weeks.
On March 8 2018, President Trump issued Proclamations 9704 and 9705 imposing duties on imports of aluminium and steel. The Proclamations also authorized the Secretary of Commerce to grant exclusions from the duties if the Secretary determines the steel or aluminium article for which the exclusion is requested is not produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality or should be excluded based upon specific national security considerations and provided authority for the Secretary to issue procedures for exclusion requests.