An interim final rule from the U.S. Department of Commerce on product exclusion procedures was published in the 19 March 2018 edition of the Federal Register. The procedures are in relation to the tariffs of 25% and 10% that will be implemented from 23 March on the import of steel and aluminum products, respectively, with exemptions for Canada and Mexico. A release announcing the potential exclusion was issued on 18 March:
Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its procedures for excluding products from the recently announced tariffs on steel and aluminum product imports. As directed by President Trump, the Department will publish the procedures in the Federal Register and will start accepting exclusion requests from U.S. industry on Monday, March 19, 2018, at 8:45 AM.
“These procedures will allow the Administration to further hone these tariffs to ensure they protect our national security while also minimizing undue impact on downstream American industries,” said Secretary Ross. “Starting tomorrow, domestic industry will be able to apply for exclusions through a fair and transparent process run through Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security.”
Secretary Ross, in consultation with other Administration officials, will evaluate exclusion requests, taking into account national security considerations. In that evaluation, the Secretary will consider whether a product is produced in the United States of a satisfactory quality or in a sufficient and reasonably available amount. A single response to each exclusion request will be posted on regulations.gov.
Only individuals or organizations using steel or aluminum articles identified in Presidential Proclamations 9704 and 9705 and engaged in business activities in the United States may submit exclusion requests. Exclusion requests will be posted for a 30-day comment period on regulations.gov.
Separate exclusion requests must be submitted for each unique steel or aluminum product import. For an exclusion request to be considered, the requester must provide a full factual description of the specific product, its properties, and its quantity.
Any individual or organization in the United States may file objections to steel or aluminum exclusion requests, but the Commerce Department will only consider information directly related to the submitted exclusion request that is the subject of the objection. Organizations submitting an objection filing on an exclusion request should provide specific information on the product that their company can provide that is comparable to the steel or aluminum product that is the subject of the exclusion request.
Organizations filing an objection should also provide factual information on the production capabilities at steel or aluminum manufacturing facilities that they operate in the United States; the availability and delivery time of the products that they manufacture relative to the specific steel or aluminum product that is subject to an exclusion request; and discussion on the suitability of its product for the application or applications identified by the exclusion requestor.
Both the exclusion requests and objection filings will be available for public viewing on regulations.gov. Processing of exclusion requests normally will not exceed 90 days, including adjudication of objections submitted on exclusion requests.
The forms for submitting steel and aluminum exclusion requests, and objections to specific exclusion requests, will be available on regulations.gov on March 19, 2018, at 8:45 AM. The steel docket number is BIS-2018-0006 and the aluminum docket number is BIS-2018-0002.
Copies of the forms and additional information on the exclusion process will be available at https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/232-steel and https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/232-aluminum on March 19, 2018, at 8:45 AM.