The US Court of International Trade (USCIT) recently dismissed thyssenkrupp Materials North America’s (TMNA’s) filing that challenged the US Section 232 tariffs (Sec 232) as being discriminatory.
TMNA argued that Sec 232’s steel and aluminum exclusion process creates a non-uniform tax as it grants exclusions on an application basis to requestors and not automatically to all importers of a particular product, grade, or from a source, thus causing discrimination in the process.
However, the USCIT dismissed the filing citing that TMNA failed to plead sufficient facts to show actual discrimination or that congress sought to benefit from one entity or region of the US over another. In the complaint, TMNA did not prove that it was or will be denied an exclusion due to some geographic US location, USCIT said in its ruling, adding that thyssenkrupp, like all other affected parties operating in the US, can apply for exclusion, and be reviewed on consistent parameters within the process.
Some expected erosion of Sec 232 under the new Biden Administration, but this dismissal and other statements by the new administration point to continued support on the tariffs on steel and aluminum. Organizations such as the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI) have communicated their support for tariffs, especially, as the country’s economy seeks to recuperate after the negative effects from COVID-19 that began in early 2020.