ANNOUNCEMENT 28 Aug 2020
Following bilateral consultations, President Trump ordered that the quota already applied to U.S. imports from Brazil of steel semi-finished blooms, billets and slabs be cut by 10% for 2020.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
In Proclamation 10064 signed on August 28, 2020 and published in the Federal Register on September 2, 2020, President Trump ordered that the quota already applied to U.S. imports from Brazil of steel semi-finished blooms, billets and slabs be cut by 10% for 2020. These cuts result from consultations between the United States and Brazil. The proclamation also noted that, “The United States and Brazil will hold further consultations in December 2020 to discuss the state of the steel trade between the two countries in light of then-prevailing market conditions.”
The proclamation temporarily modifies the restrictions that were previously placed on steel imports from Brazil under Proclamation 9759 (May 31, 2018), “Adjusting Steel Imports into the United States.” That was the proclamation by which the president imposed restriction on steel imports from Argentina and Brazil, two countries that were granted special treatment under the global steel-import restrictions imposed under the national security clause of U.S. trade law (i.e., section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962). The limits imposed on Brazil under that proclamation applied to numerous 8- and 10-digit items in the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) under 131 distinct 6-digit items (most of which fell between 7206.10 and 7396.69).
At issue in the present proclamation is one portion of those restrictions namely an annual limit of 3,505,707,831 kilograms applicable to semi-finished blooms, billets and slabs provided for in HTS items 7207.11.00, 7207.12.00, 7207.19.00, 7207.20.00 and 7224.90.00. Under the new limits, that quota is cut to 3,155,137,048 kilograms (i.e., a 10% cut).
The annual aggregate limit for Brazil set out in the annex to this new (2020) proclamation applies only for calendar year 2020, taking effect on August 28, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020. The proclamation specified that for calendar year 2021 and subsequent years the annual aggregate limit for Brazil will revert that set by Proclamation 9759 of 2018 “unless that limit is further modified or terminated.” The proclamation also directed the secretary of commerce to grant relief from the quantitative limitation that meet certain criteria (for contracts made before August 28, 2020, “such steel article cannot be procured from another supplier to meet the delivery schedule and specifications contained in such agreement” and “lack of relief from the quantitative limitation on such steel article would significantly disrupt the production activity in the United States”). The proclamation limited such relief to no more than 60,000,000 kilograms in the aggregate.