November ’23 at-a-glance … taxes, tariffs & trade

New NAFEM Guide aids import/export processes

NAFEM is proud to introduce a newly updated resource to help members identify international certifications. The Global Market Access and Conformity Guide provides certification contact information for fuel type, region and food contact surfaces. This guide helps reduce research time by linking directly to information sources. Our thanks to the International Compliance Task Group, led by Irina Rashfal, Intertek, for updating this resource.

Advocacy efforts continue to maintain R&D tax credit in support of innovation

For more than a year, NAFEM has worked with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and other industry groups to urge Congress to ensure that the tax code continues to support business innovation. Now, changes proposed by the IRS to Form 6765 used to claim the research and development tax credit could disproportionately impact small manufacturers with fewer resources to compile the information needed for the new Form. According to NAM, the new Section F in the revised Form requires much more detailed information. “The current Form only requires disclosure of total qualified research expenses by type, which is consistent with the statutory mandate that the compliance burden be minimal,” NAM explained. NAM is calling on the IRS to withdraw its proposed changes to Form 6765 or to modify the form and delay its implementation for at least a year.

U.S. – EU agreement on steel, aluminum imports pushed to year-end

The U.S. – EU agreement that replaced Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs with tariff rate quotas (TRQs) expired Oct. 31. Although unable to secure a new agreement by the deadline, the parties have extended the current agreement and deadline for negotiations until year-end while they continue to work toward a Global Agreement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum (GASSA). The U.S. is driving for a GASSA that would limit CO2 emissions in steel and aluminum production in return for lower or no tariffs or TRQs.

U.S. Court of International Trade decision aligns with NAFEM comments on Section 232 tariffs; Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal to invalidate tariffs

In an October opinion, the U.S. Court of International Trade (USCIT) agreed with plaintiff Seneca Foods that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s denials of Section 232 waiver requests were “arbitrary and capricious, failing to acknowledge and address evidence on the record that contradicted the agency’s findings.” Commerce has been ordered by the court to reconsider the denial and, if it opts to deny the exclusion requests again, to provide further explanation of its decision.

“The case supports NAFEM’s comments requesting more transparency on the Section 232 exclusion process and calling for a more fact-based approach,” said Christine Sohar-Henter, NAFEM legal counsel, Barnes & Thornburg.

Also in October, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lower court’s decision not to invalidate the Section 232 tariffs. The justices let stand a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision that presidents are authorized to impose “contingency-dependent” tariff increases to fulfill their original national security objectives.

International aluminum extrusion manufacturers investigated for antidumping

Manufacturers producing aluminum extrusions in multiple countries are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) for antidumping. The extrusions are used in a wide variety of products, including glass shelves and fin evaporator coals and systems for refrigerators. Commerce intends to further evaluate and clarify the scope of the investigation as it continues this work. Antidumping fines are aggressive, often as much as 200-300% of the article’s value. Members purchasing these products are advised to speak with their import specialists.

Comments were due Nov. 13. Countries included in the investigation are China, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE and Vietnam.