Over the last year, there have been several waves of tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. But not all tariffs are the same, and the justification and laws that allow their imposition can vary a lot. We’ve gotten a lot of calls from our customers to explain what they mean, and below we’ve summarized the ones making the biggest impact:

  • Section 201: these were the first tariffs implemented, going back to February 2018. They get their name from Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, which allows companies and industries to petition the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that their industries are being unfairly harmed by foreign products. These were implemented in early 20188 for solar cells, panels, and washing machines, with some exclusions. These duties are eligible for drawback refunds if the products are exported.
  • Section 232: this wave of tariffs followed shortly afterward, with a proclamation being made on March 23rd, 2018. This group of tariffs comes from Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. This was a considerably larger amount of products than the 201, as it covered nearly all importation of steel and aluminum products into the United States. Even close partners such as Canada were not exempt. The justification under this law is that it is a national security need that the USA import less steel and aluminum and therefore must have the ability to produce it domestically. These are not eligible for drawback refunds, even if exported or destroyed.
  • Section 301: the third, and largest, wave of tariffs came when lists of products originating in China were subject to new duties from Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Unlike the 201 tariffs under this law, they did not require specific petitions from companies. There were three tranches or lists of products that were subject to these new tariffs, eventually accounting for more than $200 billion in imports from China. These duties are eligible to be refunded through drawback when the product is exported.

If you have any questions about how these tariffs apply to your company or how you can seek drawback returns on them, please contact our VP of Sales Andrew Galloway at agalloway@jmrodgers.com or 973-726-5340.