Steel Products

Section 232 On Hold Until Tax Bill Complete

Written by John Packard

World Trade Online reported this morning that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told a U.S. Senator the Section 232 review on steel will not be ready until after tax reform legislation has been completed. This is in line with what President Trump said in July when he told The Wall Street Journal, “We’re waiting till we get everything finished up between health care and taxes and maybe even infrastructure.”

Earlier this year, the understanding was that the review would be complete by the end of June.

When the end of June rolled around, the DOC and president found they were getting quite a bit of “push-back” on 232 and its potential outcomes. Some in Congress, the business community and other federal agencies, as well as trading partners, were upset with the potential damage a 232 decision might bring.

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Under the Section 232 timeline, the DOC has until Jan. 14, 2018, to submit its report to the president.

World Trade Online has been reporting that Steve Bannon, in a speech in China given earlier this week, told the audience the administration was discussing “tariffs in the 25-35 percent range” on steel (World Trade Online, September 14, 2017).

Other World Trade Online sources spoke of there being “various drafts,” some recommending a combination of quotas and tariffs, with Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Australia excluded.

If the steel industry has to wait until tax legislation has been completed, we may be waiting until late this year or early into 2018.

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