Background

President Trump has terminated the designation of Turkey as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences as of May 17, eliminating the eligibility of thousands of products imported from that country for duty-free treatment under GSP. This action termination is based on Turkey’s level of economic development, and the president has specifically cited the country’s increases in gross national product per capita, declining poverty rates, and export diversification.

Similarly, the president has removed Turkey from the list of developing country World Trade Organization members exempt (under certain conditions) from the section 201 safeguard tariff-rate quotas the U.S. imposed in January 2018 on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and large residential washing machines. Click here for details on these TRQs.

However, the president has also reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent the section 232 tariff on steel products imported from Turkey. This change is effective with respect to goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after 12:01 am EDT on May 21. U.S. Customs and Border Protection states that such goods should be filed using HTSUS subheading 9903.80.01 in addition to the regular Chapter 72 classification.

The higher tariff was imposed in August 2018 after Turkey hiked its tariffs on $1.78 billion worth of U.S. imports in retaliation for the initial section 232 tariff increase. However, President Trump said imports of steel from Turkey dropped 48 percent in 2018 and the U.S. steel industry’s capacity utilization has improved.

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