May ’24 at-a-glance … taxes, tariffs & trade

USTR releases four-year review of China tariffs; administration increases tariffs  

Immediately following the publication of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) statutory four-year review of the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China, the Biden administration increased tariffs on $18 billion of to-be-determined steel and aluminum products from 7.5% to 25%. These new tariffs are on top of the current  “national security“ tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum. The president also increased tariffs on semiconductors from China from 25% to 50% by 2025.  

According to USTR Katherine Tai, “While the tariffs have been effective in encouraging the People’s Republic of China to take some steps to address the issues identified in the Section 301 investigation, further action is required.”  

USTR’s report also recommends creating an exclusion process for machinery used in domestic manufacturing, which President Biden immediately endorsed. Tai also suggests allocating additional funds for greater enforcement of Section 301 actions, collaboration between the government and private companies to combat Chinese state-sponsored technology theft and continuing to assess approaches to enhance domestic supply chain resilience.  

Overall, according to the White House, “The president is directing increases in tariffs across strategic sectors such as steel and aluminum, semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, critical minerals, solar cells, ship-to-shore cranes and medical products.” 

At this point, it appears that USTR may not extend any of the Section 301 exclusions scheduled to expire May 31. USTR will soon announce a comment process to provide input on the report. NAFEM previously submitted comments to the office when it launched the four-year review.  

Additional anti-dumping tariffs announced on aluminum extrusions 

Preliminary anti-dumping tariffs on aluminum extrusions from 14 countries were announced May 2 by the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. Tariffs range from 4.19% to 376.85% for imports from: 

  • China 
  • Columbia 
  • Ecuador 
  • India
  • Indonesia 
  • Italy 
  • Malaysia 
  • Mexico 
  • Korea 
  • Taiwan 
  • Thailand 
  • Türkiye 
  • United Arab Emirates  
  • Vietnam 

Following further study, final tariff decisions are anticipated Sept. 5. These new tariffs are in addition to those previously announced on aluminum extrusions from China, Indonesia, Mexico and Türkiye. A complete listing of the tariffs for each country and the producer/exporter specific rates are available here.