Tariff Counseling

Two seldom used laws, Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, have been used by the U.S. in recent years to impose extra tariffs on numerous goods imported into the U.S. In particular, the extra duties have been imposed on steel and aluminum products and various goods from China.  Ms. Suarez has assisted numerous clients in understanding whether these tariffs apply to their imported products.  She also assists clients in ensuring that they are using the correct tariff classifications and declaring the correct country of origin – both of which are critical in determining the applicability of such duties.

The following is what you need to know about the tariffs as well as links to pertinent notices published in the Federal Register regarding effective dates, hearings, and the product exclusion process. For a partner to help navigate these tumultuous times, contact The Suarez Firm.


Section 232 Steel & Aluminum Tariffs

Feb 20, 2020 – Tariffs on Derivative Steel and Aluminum Imports

Feb 20, 2020 – US-China First Phase Trade Agreement

Updated September 19: Product Exclusion Request Updates

Updated April 8: Interim Final Rule

Updated March 30: Steel Exclusion Requests

Summary of Actions & U.S. Tariff Deadlines

February 8, 2020 – US imposes tariffs on derivative steel and aluminum imports.

December 19, 2019 – The US and China reach a Phase One trade deal.

May 31, 2018 – Exemptions for Canada, Mexico, and the European Union were removed for both steel and aluminum.

March 23, 2018 – South Korea and the U.S. agree in principle to a number of changes to the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).

March 22, 2018 – Several countries including Australia, Argentina, South Korea, and Brazil were temporarily exempted until May 1, 2018.

March 8, 2018 – President Trump imposes tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Canada and Mexico were temporarily exempted pending NAFTA negotiations.

Section 232Steel - Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) 6‑digit level as:
7206.10 through 7216.50
7216.99 through 7301.10
7302.40 through 7302.90
7304.10 through 7306.90
Including any subsequent revisions to these HTS classifications
25%March 23, 2018
Section 232Aluminum - Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) as:
(a) unwrought aluminum (HTS 7601)
(b) aluminum bars, rods, and profiles (HTS 7604)
(c) aluminum wire (HTS 7605)
(d) aluminum plate, sheet, strip, and foil (flat rolled products) (HTS 7606 and 7607)
(e) aluminum tubes and pipes and tube and pipe fitting (HTS 7608 and 7609)
(f) aluminum castings and forgings (HTS 7616.99.51.60 and 7616.99.51.70)
Including any subsequent revisions to these HTS classifications
10%March 23, 2018


Who?Where?Processing TimeQuestions?
Individuals or organizations operating in the United States that use steel products in business activities in the United States Upload request to Regulations.gov under Docket Number BIS-2018-0006 for steel; under Docket Number BIS-2018-0002 for aluminumStated as approximately 90 days but see Trade Vistas Tariff Exclusions which provides a timeline for steel and aluminum tariff exclusion requestsUpdate on Exclusion Requests

More Information on Exclusion Requests

Section 301 Tariffs

Updated April 4: Section 301 Tariff List

Updated July 18: Covered Products & More Updates

Updated August 23: Updates on Chinese Products and Product Exclusion Process

Updated May 17, 2019: May 2019 Updates on Section 301

Summary of Actions & U.S. Tariff Deadlines

UPDATE – August 2019 – On August 23, 2019, President Trump tweeted several times that he would raise Section 301 tariffs on the first three lists of $250 billion of imports from China from 25% to 30%.  He also tweeted that the next set of tariffs on approximately $300 billion of Chinese imports would be increased from 10% to 15%.  Trump said that the increased duties were in response to Chinese retaliatory tariffs announced August 23 on $75 billion in U.S. products.

In a Federal Register notice published on August 30, 2019, USTR made official the increase in duties from 10% to 15%, effective September 1, 2019 and December 15, 2019.

In another Federal Register notice published September 3, 2019, USTR proposes to increase tariffs from 25% to 30% on goods from China for three trade actions (specifically tranches 1, 2 and 3) with an approximate annual trade value of $250 billion, effective October 1, 2019.  USTR is giving interested parties until September 20, 2019 to address whether the additional duties for the particular item would be practicable or effective in addressing China’s misconduct. USTR also inquires whether subjecting the particular product would cause disproportionate economic harm to U.S. interests, including small- or medium-sized businesses and consumers.  This is an important opportunity for SME’s and consumers.

Deadline for Section 301 Product Exclusions Requests for Tranche 3 $200 billion is September 30, 2019

While the product exclusion process is closed for the first two tranches of $50 billion of imports from China, there is still time to ask for product exclusions from the third tranche $200 billion of imports. The deadline for asking for an exclusion is fast approaching as requests must be made by September 30, 2019.  For data on requests on the first two tranches, take a look at Mercatus website. Also, see USTR FAQs.

UPDATE – May 2019 – Tariffs on third tranche of Chinese goods enacted. A fourth list, valued at approximately $300 billion, is proposed.

UPDATE – A third list of about $200 billion worth of Chinese goods is proposed for either a 10% or 25% tariff.

UPDATE – A second list of Chinese goods, valued at approximately $16 billion, is subjected to a 25% ad valorem tariff effective August 23, 2018.

June 20, 2018 – USTR releases a list of Chinese goods to be subjected to a 25 percent ad valorem duty. This tariff, affecting approximately $34 billion worth of imports from China, went into effect July 6, 2018.

April 3, 2018 – USTR announces its proposed list of Chinese goods for imposition of a 25 percent ad valorem duty. This list covers 1300 tariff lines and is intended to be applied to about $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. The list covers a broad range of goods including semiconductors, tires, and medical products.

China’s State Council immediately announced retaliations against $50 billion in Chinese imports of U.S. goods covering 105 categories. Sorghum, beef, and airplanes are some of the targeted products.

ProductsAmountTariff Effective DateExclusion Application Deadline
List 1List 1 Products25%July 6, 2018October 9, 2018
List 2List 2 Products25%August 23, 2018October 9, 2018
List 3List 3 Products10% until December 31, 2018; 25% thereafterSeptember 24, 2018N/A


Exclusion Request DueRequest FormOther AvenuesQuestions?
List 1October 9, 2018Exclusion Request FormN/AMore Information
List 2December 18, 2018Exclusion Request FormN/AMore Information
List 3N/AExclusion Request FormPublic Comments on Proposed List - Deadline now September 6, 2018More Information