Tariff Initiatives Update

Tariff Initiatives Update

This piece was originally published in the October 2018 issue of electroindustry.

On September 6, NEMA filed formal written comments with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on its proposal to place additional import tariffs of 10 or 25 percent on a list of more than 6,000 products made in China. The list included more than 70 product types of concern for NEMA Members, including finished goods as well as inputs and components that support manufacturing and assembly operations located in the U.S., accounting for imports in 2017 valued at approximately $22 billion.

Writ large, if 10 or 25 percent tariffs were to be implemented as proposed, they could represent an additional tax increase on U.S. electroindustry companies and their industrial, commercial, and residential customers of approximately $2.2 billion to $5.4 billion. These tariffs would be in addition to the $2 billion in U.S. tariffs implemented on Chinese-made products imported under approximately 100 8-digit Harmonized System codes on July 6 as well as $500 million in tariffs begun on 31 Harmonized System codes on August 23.

Also on September 6, the Commerce Department released a pre-publication copy of a new interim final rule governing the exclusion process for imported steel and aluminum products that face tariffs or quantitative restrictions based on U.S. national security concerns.

Under the new rule, which is open for public comment, petitioners who face objections from domestic steel or aluminum companies will have the opportunity to publicly rebut those objections. The objectors will also have a chance to respond to the petitioners’ rebuttal. Commerce also clarified several criteria it uses in evaluating petitions and objections, including domestic availability and product quality.

For more information, contact Craig Updyke at craig.updyke@nema.org.

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