Trade Cases

SMU Explains: How to Keep Track of EU TRQ Data

Written by Michael Cowden

Looking for the latest data on the status of the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) with the European Union?

SMU is here to help – even if the figures are not as user-friendly as we might like. Recall that the TRQ, which was signed into effect over the holidays by President Joe Biden, replaces blanket Section 232 tariffs of 25%.

The White HouseThe TRQ deal allows 3.6 million short tons (3.3 million metric tonnes) to be imported from the EU tariff free. Any volumes over that amount remain subject to the U.S. national security tariff.

So how may tons are left under that quota ceiling, which is divvied up according to individual EU member countries and individual steel products?

To find out, go here:

Then click on the latest “Commodity Status Report” on the right-hand side of the page. That pulls up a big, somewhat cumbersome PDF that contains data on all U.S. quotas – including the EU TRQ.

The EU TRQ, or soft quota, data start on page 15. The data on hard quotas with Argentina, Brazil and South Korea – deals that predate the EU TRQ – come immediately before the EU figures.

The EU data will be updated every week on Monday – or on the next business day if a Monday happens to fall on a federal holiday, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) told SMU.

It is published in PDF rather than Excel format for various compliance reasons, he said. He also noted that EU TRQ data, like other U.S. quota figures, have historically been updated on only a weekly basis.

But while the data is updated weekly, the EU TRQ will be administered on a “first come, first serve basis,” the spokesman said.

Japan and Great Britain are seeking deals like those negotiated with the EU. And South Korea, which agreed to a hard quota in exchange for exemption from Section 232 tariffs, also seeks a better deal with the U.S.

Some industry sources have said that a deal with Japan, based on the EU TRQ, could come during or shortly after a meeting between top U.S. and Japanese officials in Washington, D.C., later this month.

But others have said that the EU TRQ does not necessarily provide a template and that a deal with Tokyo on Section 232 could be months away.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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