The US Court of International Trade (CIT) ordered that the US Bureau of Industry and Security should reconsider and explain the reasons for the denial of JSW Steel’s request for exclusion from Section 232 tariff.
US Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) denied a US importer’s requests for exclusions on steel tariffs imposed on steel produced by JSW Steel. BIS denied the exemption without providing sufficient explanation for its decisions.
CIT has directed BIS to provide reasons for JSW Steel (USA)’s non-exclusion from Section 232 and also whether its decision was influenced by other US steel producers.
JSW Steel (USA) had filed a complaint against the United States in June 2019 for denying product exclusion requests for steel imports from India and Mexico. The company alleged that BIS’ denials were arbitrary and it did not articulate any reason to support its decisions. CIT Judge Claire R. Kelly ordered that BIS consider and explain the denials of 12 exclusion requests made by JSW.
US President Donald Trump imposed additional tariffs on steel and aluminium imports in March 2018 through a presidential order under Section 232 of Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Section 232 is a rarely used provision that allows the US Commerce to investigate and determine whether the import of certain materials adversely impacts the national security interests of the country. The investigation adopted an expanded definition of national security to focus on the economy, besides military issues. The order levies an additional 25pc import duty on steel and 10pc on aluminium imports.
In April 2018, the US amended the order to revise the list of countries which will receive exemptions from the duty or face a quota arrangement. Canada, Mexico, and European Union countries were exempt while South Korea, Brazil, and Argentina exempt from the steel tariffs based on import quotas.