This week trade representatives from the United States and the European Union made a joint announcement that they will be working on an initiative, sure to please importers and exporters in the United States, to explore the reduction and possible removal of Section 232 tariffs in the USA as well as the tariffs on US goods that the EU imposed in response.

At this point it looks like this will possibly be the beginning of the end to Section 232 tariffs into the United States. With demand for steel surging globally as world economies come back online following the pandemic, many industries are being squeezed as prices surge for materials that are exacerbated by the increased duties. In addition, the industries most hit hard by the reciprocal tariffs—especially those in the alcohol industry—are hopeful for a quick resolution.

While there is no immediate promise that the 232 tariffs will be rescinded, the EU’s backing off of increasing duties as they were scheduled to do so in June, as well as the US Trade Representative stating their intention to find alternative ways to support the US steel industry, signals that both sides seem to be in line on finding a way forward that will open up trade more freely between the two entities.

Over the next few months, the US and the EU will be undergoing a series of negotiations that will determine the future of these duties, and likely more. The current administration has said that they wish to also conclude the ongoing dispute that took place over dual WTO rulings that the USA and EU had both illegally subsidized their major plane manufacturing firms, Boeing and Airbus, and have stated that they are seeking to resolve this situation, potentially removing or reducing the Section 301 tariffs on certain goods by July.

Changes to tariffs and duties will remain a fact of life for importers and exporters over the next few years, and it will be more important than ever to have a brokerage partner who will be sure to enter your products correctly and can take advantage of all possible mitigation measures like duty drawback. To learn more about what J.M. Rodgers can do for you, please contact our SVP of Sales Andrew Galloway at (973) 230-5604, or via email at agalloway@jmrodgers.com.