The imposition of Section 301 tariffs on products from China has been the largest duty increase seen by US importers in many years, and as such remains a continual topic that our clients ask us about frequently. The most common inquiry we receive from our customers is asking if these will survive policy changes within the US government, and where we see things headed. 

Thus far, all indications from US Customs, The State Department, and other involved officials are that there will be no immediate change on Section 301 duties. While overall policy goals may change with time, importers should continue to plan to have these duties as part of their costs when importing from China for the foreseeable future.

The tariffs imposed under Section 232 of Trade Expansion Act of 1962 on aluminum and steel appear to be set for the near future as well. Tariffs on importation of aluminum from the United Arab Emirates were reinstated last week, and along with continued support from bipartisan members of Congress as well as US manufacturers it appears these duties will also likely remain for some time. A WTO panel on the validity of these tariffs has been postponed until later 2021.

The longevity of new tariffs imposed on European imports isn’t as clear at this time. Representatives from the EU have expressed eagerness to resolve these disputes and find a way to remove the tariffs that have been imposed on a wide variety of EU exports, along with many duties imposed by the EU on exports from the USA. 

The EU has offered to drop nearly all their duties if Section 232 tariffs are removed on EU-origin products, and negotiations continue around those from the Airbus and Boeing disputes through the WTO. While no official word from the US government has yet come, generally friendlier relations along with the bloc may see faster resolution.

All of these tariffs except the section 232 tariffs remain eligible to be claimed back through a duty drawback program, and at this moment it appears that many US importers will continue to pay these tariffs for some time. If you’d like to discuss how JM Rodgers can help you seek refunds via drawback or find the best avenue for your importation, please contact our SVP of Sales Andrew Galloway at (212) 220-7412, (973) 726-5340, or via email at agalloway@jmrodgers.com.