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Following last week’s announcement that Washington has agreed to eliminate Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico in exchange for the repeal of retaliatory duties on a wide range of U.S. exports, the two governments have now confirmed lifting of the tariffs and all countermeasures with the publication of official notifications to that effect.

Canada

The Canada Border Services Agency issued Customs Notice 19-09 repealing the United States Surtax Order (Steel and Aluminum): SOR/2018-152 and the United States Surtax Order (Other Goods): SOR/2018-153 imposing surtax on certain products originating in the United States, effective May 19, 2019.

United States

In addition to proclamations from the White House, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued CSMS 19-000252 terminating Section 232 duties for goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. EDT on May 20, 2019 with a country of origin of Canada or Mexico.

Importers are instructed to discontinue used of Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classification 9903.80.01 or 9903.85.01 and use instead the regular Chapter 72 or 73 HTS classification for steel imports, and the regular Chapter 76 HTS classification for imported aluminum products.

Mexico

While an official notice from Mexico is still unavailable, a government statement last week indicates that the lifting of the steel and aluminum tariffs will also apply to trade between Mexico and the U.S. in accordance with a bilateral agreement also reached last week.

Removal of the tariffs clears the way for debate on ratification of the US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA) to proceed in the U.S. Congress, which had been stymied by the impasse over the contentious metals tariffs that were viewed by many lawmakers as an executive abuse of the Section 232 provisions of U.S. trade law pertaining to national security.

Concerned about how this significant policy change might impact your company and/or looking to find out more about any other issues of concern?

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