President Trump Announces Steep Tariffs on Imports of Steel and Aluminum

President Trump Announces Steep Tariffs on Imports of Steel and Aluminum

On March 1, 2018, President Trump announced his intention to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports. These tariffs may go into effect immediately upon or shortly after signing of the order, which could be as early as this week. The announcement came approximately two weeks after the Secretary of Commerce released reports pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 finding that the quantities and circumstances of steel and aluminum imports threaten to impair U.S. national security. President Trump announced harsher tariffs than those recommended in the reports. It is unclear whether the tariffs would apply to all imports or target specific countries.

For U.S. companies that import steel or aluminum subject to the tariffs, the reports recommend an appeal process by which affected U.S. parties can seek an exclusion from the tariffs. Although it is not clear whether President Trump will implement that recommendation and, if so, what the process for seeking such an exclusion would look like, the reports indicate that the Secretary of Commerce could grant exclusions based on: (i) lack of sufficient U.S. production capacity of comparable products; and (ii) specific national security based considerations. The reports also note that the appeal process would include a public comment period on each exclusion request and generally would be completed within 90 days.

Lawyer Contacts

For further information, please contact your principal Firm representative or one of the lawyers listed below. General email messages may be sent using our "Contact Us" form, which can be found at

Laura Fraedrich

Paul V. Lettow

Chase D. Kaniecki

Jones Day publications should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only and may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication or proceeding without the prior written consent of the Firm, to be given or withheld at our discretion. To request reprint permission for any of our publications, please use our "Contact Us" form, which can be found on our website at The mailing of this publication is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The views set forth herein are the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Firm.