President Biden issued Feb. 24 a proclamation significantly increasing tariffs on imports from Russia and other countries of aluminum and derivative aluminum articles.
Effective June 1, 2018, additional tariffs of 10 percent were imposed on aluminum imports from Russia and almost all other countries. These tariffs were extended to certain derivatives of aluminum articles as of Feb. 8, 2020. There tariffs were imposed following a Section 232 investigation determining that imports of aluminum articles were threatening U.S. national security.
Under a new proclamation, the Section 232 tariff on aluminum articles and derivative aluminum articles that are the product of Russia will be increased to 200 percent as of March 10. In addition, a 200 percent tariff will be imposed on aluminum articles and derivative aluminum articles where any amount of primary aluminum used in the manufacture of those articles is smelted in Russia, or the articles are cast in Russia, beginning April 10. However, any country that imposes a tariff of 200 percent or more on its imports of aluminum articles that are products of Russia may be exempt from these tariffs.
To facilitate the implementation of these tariff increases, importers will be required to provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection with the information necessary to identify the countries where (1) the primary aluminum used in the manufacture of the articles is smelted and (2) the articles are cast. CBP will have to implement these smelt and cast information requirements as soon as practicable.
The proclamation explains that while aluminum imports from Russia have declined from since the tariffs were initially imposed, Russia remains the fifth-largest source of aluminum imported into the U.S. and imports of aluminum from Russia increased in both 2021 and 2022. The tariffs are thus being increased to reduce such imports and thus lower revenue for Russia’s aluminum industry, which is “a key part of Russia’s industrial base and has played a major role in supplying Russia with weapons and ammunition” used in the war with Ukraine.
The tariffs are also designed to further increase capacity utilization in the U.S. aluminum industry, which has been harmed by the rise in global energy prices attributed to the war. The proclamation notes that two of the five remaining aluminum smelters in the U.S. are in danger of closing as a result of continued high levels of aluminum imports and high energy prices.
For more information on these actions and how they may impact your business, please contact attorney Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965 or via email.
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