Section 232 Update: Agreement reached to lift steel and aluminum tariffs and corresponding surtaxes

Last week, the governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico reached an agreement on the removal of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the United States, which have been in place since June 1, 2018 under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and corresponding countermeasures. Specifically, the following was agreed upon:

  • All tariffs imposed by the United States under Section 232 on imports of steel and aluminum have been eliminated, effective 12:01am EST, May 20, 2019, as well as the retaliatory tariffs imposed by Canada and Mexico.
  • All pending litigation between the three countries and the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the Section 232 action will be terminated.
  • Measures will be implemented to prevent the importation of aluminum and steel that is unfairly subsidized and/or sold at dumped prices.
  • Transshipment of aluminum and steel made outside of Mexico, Canada and the U.S. to the other country will need to be prevented.
  • A process will be agreed upon for monitoring aluminum and steel between them.Either country may treat products made with steel that is melted and poured in North America separately form products that are not.
  • If imports of steel or aluminum products surge beyond historic volumes of trade over a period of time with consideration of market share, the importing country may request consultations with the exporting country.After such consultations, the importing party may impose duties of 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum in respect to the individual product were the surge took place.  If such action takes place, the exporting country agrees to retaliate only on steel and aluminum products.

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and Border Protection (CBP) issued CSMS 19-000252 terminating Section 232 duties for goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. EDT on May 20, 2019 with a country of origin of Canada or Mexico. Canada issued Customs Notice 19-09 repealing the surtax imposed on certain products originating in the United States.

Additional Resources

Joint statement by Canada and the U.S.

Joint statement by Mexico and the U.S.

United States and Mexico Reach Agreement on Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum

Proclamation on Imports of Steel

Proclamation on Imports of Aluminum

CSMS # 19-000252 Termination of Section 232 Duty

Customs Notice 19-09

If you have any questions regarding Section 232 duties on Steel and Aluminum, Livingston can help!  Please contact either your Livingston account manager or our regulatory affairs department at