Briefings: July/August 2020

Companies Challenge Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

A number of farrier industry companies have been trying to limit the financial reach of 2 years’ worth of escalating costs that have come in the wake of tariffs and quotas imposed on steel and aluminum imports into the United States.

At least three companies have petitioned the Commerce Department to exempt an unconfirmed number of products from tariffs that are as high as 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum.

Exclusion requests are generally granted “if there is no domestic availability and there are no overriding national security concerns with regard to specific products,” according to the Commerce Department. Requests likely would be denied if a U.S. steel or aluminum producer can produce a product on the exemption request or might be able to manufacture it if future production was increased, Secretary Wilbur Ross testified before the Senate Finance Committee.

Companies were afforded the opportunity to testify and file comments before tariffs were imposed, as well as file exemptions with the government after they took effect. However, this practice changed when a new 25% tariff on derivative steel products, such as horseshoe nails, was imposed Jan. 25, 2020.

A number of farrier companies that import nails from outside of the United States have been affected by the derivative tariffs. Since the government did not hold hearings, solicit comments or establish an exclusion process, the only recourse is to file a complaint with the United States Court of International Trade. Farrier Product Distribution (FPD)…

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