Tariff Updates: S232, S301 & GSP

Tariff Updates: S232, S301 & GSP

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S232 – Steel & Aluminum Tariffs (Worldwide Application)

S232 tariffs were ruled constitutional in March of this year by the Court of International Trade. With this ruling, the S232 tariffs are expected to continue into the foreseeable future. Since the tariffs went into effect in March of 2018, there have been over 50,000 steel and aluminum exclusion requests made and the Bureau of Industry and Security has approved just over 25,000 through mid-March of this year. Click here to read more about S232 Tariffs on Aluminum and Steel imports.

S301 – Multi-HTS Tariffs (China Application Only) 

S301 List 1 – A limited number of exclusions were granted within 31 product categories and those exclusions are expected to be valid for one year from the date of publication of the exclusion by the USTR.

S301 List 2 – When it was published, five items were excluded from the original list, but no additional exclusions have been granted since List 2 was publicized.

S301 List 3 – According to a Federal Register Public Inspection Document that was issued today, the U.S. will proceed with increasing List 3 of the S301 tariffs to 25%, effective Friday, May 10, 2019. Click here to read the Public Inspection Document.

Per the Annex in the Federal Register notice, goods that are entered for consumption after 12:01 pm on May 10, 2019 AND exported from China to the United States on or after May 10, 2019 will be subject to the 25% rate.

Additionally, cargo exported from China prior to May 10, 2019 but cleared on or after May 10, 2019 will be subject to the original 10% rate.

Additional guidance will be forthcoming from USTR and/or CBP. The USTR is also expected to establish a process to seek exclusions for certain products from additional tariffs.

Other Details Regarding S301 List 3: According to reports, the current Administration is not satisfied with the speed of the trade talks and is concerned about proposed changes by the Chinese trade delegation.

China’s Commerce Ministry recently confirmed that Premier Liu He will visit the United States May 9-10 for further trade talks. If the meeting and negotiations proceed, the trade community is hopeful that the increase to 25% might be put on hold. The key sticking point in the current talks centers around Chinese joint venture laws and forced technology transfers. While Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed that the deal was “90 percent done”, these issues seem to be stalling further progress.

The mini-omnibus bill, which was signed on February 15, 2019, stated that a product exclusion process should be created for List 3 of the S301 by March 17, 2019. However, as of this report, it has not been created as the List 3 S301 tariffs remained at 10% instead of increasing to the expected 25% on March 2, 2019. If List 3 does increase to 25%, it is expected that an exclusion request process will be implemented within a short time frame.

While List 4 of the S301 tariffs was mentioned over the weekend, no official announcements have occurred.

GSP (Generalized System of Preferences)

GSP designation has not been terminated for Turkey and India, despite earlier notification that the exclusion would possibly go into effect as early as 60 days from March 4, 2019. Therefore, at this time, GSP eligible imports are being handled as status quo. The GSP termination for either Turkey or India would become official once the following steps are taken:

  1. The respective country has been notified
  2. The 60-day waiting period is over
  3. A Presidential proclamation is issued and signed by the president

If you have questions, please contact us or reach out to your Ascent Global Logistics representative directly.


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