Stainless steel factoryThe recent announcement by the White House that it intends to unilaterally impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports from all countries except Canada and Mexico has created significant uncertainty among foreign exporters.

It is of great import that Canada and Mexico are excluded from the imposition of section 232 duties for the time being. The European Union, Australia and South Korea have expressed a desire for similar exclusions to be applied to them. In fact, the EU and Australia are almost assured of an exemption based upon press reports. But where does that leave other important allies such as Turkey, India, Brazil and a host of other steel-exporting nations?

Continue Reading Can U.S. Allies Sidestep New Steel and Aluminum Tariffs?

White HouseThe recent announcement that the White House will impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports from all countries except Canada and Mexico has created significant uncertainty and concern for foreign exporters and U.S. importers. Our attorneys answer some of your FAQs. (Read our previous alert about President Trump’s tariff proclamation.)

White House

President Trump announced on Thursday, March 1, that he will impose tariffs on imports of certain steel and aluminum products. We anticipate the President will formally sign the trade measures announced today next week and that they will include an additional tariff of 25% on imports of steel products and 10% on imports of aluminum products covered under the proclamation.

Continue Reading Trump Announces Decision on Steel and Aluminum Section 232 Investigations

shipping containersOn Friday, February 23, 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) imposed blocking sanctions against one individual, twenty-seven entities and twenty-eight vessels known to have previously provided maritime support to North Korean coal and petroleum transactions. OFAC added the individuals, entities and vessels to its Specially Designated Nationals List (the “SDN List”), which will generally prohibit the fifty-six sanctioned parties from transacting with the United States or any United States person.
Continue Reading OFAC Issues Additional North Korean Sanctions and Guidance for Shipping Companies

environment landscape natureAttorney Megan Caldwell recently blogged about two recent agency enforcement memoranda impacting the enforcement of environmental violations. Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) have issued memos make changes in how agencies will focus on their roles in regards to enforcement. These changes may affect your company’s approach to compliance with certain agency guidance documents as well as your emphasis on relationships with state environmental agencies versus the EPA. You can read the full blog post on our Emerging Energy Insights blog.

cargo ship

The Department of Commerce released its reports recommending remedies with respect to the Section 232 investigations of steel and aluminum today, February 16. The steel report was submitted to the White House on January 11, 2018 and started a statutory 90-day clock for the President to make a decision on a course of action. The aluminum report was submitted on January 19, 2018 and similarly started the statutory 90 days for the decision. Continue Reading Commerce Releases Steel and Aluminum Section 232 Reports

solar panels - energyThe Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has announced that anyone interested in having a product excluded from the safeguard measures imposed on imports of solar products must submit an application by March 16, 2018. Comments in response to exclusion requests must be filed by April 16, 2018. USTR set these deadlines and established the requirements for requesting product exclusions in a Federal Register notice published on February 14, 2018. This follows the President’s imposition of safeguard measures on imports of certain solar products on January 23, 2014. Under the safeguards, imports of cystalline silicon photovoltaic (CPSV) cells are subject to a tariff-rate quota and imports of other CSPV products are subject to an increased duty rate. For more information on this issue, please contact Jeffrey Neeley or Stephen Brophy.

globe AsiaCAATSA Overview

Congress enacted the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA) on August 2, 2017 in response to Russia’s continuing occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and cyber-interference in the 2018 United States Presidential elections. We previously covered CAATSA in blog posts here and here. CAATSA was notable because it passed the House of Representatives with a 419-3 approval margin and passed the Senate with a 98-2 approval margin. Among other things, CAATSA required President Donald Trump to take certain actions on the 180-day anniversary of CAATSA’s adoption, which included (but were not limited to): (i) imposing sanctions (commonly referred to as the “CAATSA Section 231 sanctions”) against persons engaged in “significant transactions” with Russia’s defense or intelligence sectors; and (ii) preparing and submitting a report (commonly referred to as the “CAATSA Section 241 report”) to various congressional committees identifying senior political figures and oligarchs within Russia. January 29, 2018 marked CAATSA’s 180-day anniversary and, as a result, it sparked a flurry of activity related to the CAATSA Section 231 sanctions and the CAATSA Section 241 report. Continue Reading Russia Sanctions Developments Incite Controversy and Signal Possible Future Changes

Husch Blackwell’s Jeffrey Neeley authored an article, “Solar Panel Tariff Creates New Uncertainty” that appeared in Law360 this week. The article discusses in depth the proclamation signed by President Trump last week. From the article:

[T]he relief announced provides that the first 2.5 gigawatts of imported cells are excluded from the additional tariffs. The use of an exemption for the first 2.5 gigawatts makes the relief a form of a “tariff rate quota,” meaning that tariffs for cells only apply if imports rise above the quota amount of 2.5 gigawatts. This type of relief has been imposed in the past, including on certain steel products.

Read the full post on Law360.

solar panels - energyOn January 22, 2018, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced that the Trump Administration is granting relief for the domestic solar panels and modules industry under section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974. This confirmed the fears of many consumers that there substantial additional duties would be imposed on those products. USTR announced that the relief would come in the form of a tariff increase of 30% in the first year, decreasing to 25% in year two, 20% in year three, and then to 15% in year four. On January 23, 2018, President Trump signed the Proclamation implementing the relief. The relief will go into effect on February 7, 2018. For additional information on the implications of this decision, you can read the full blog post on Husch Blackwell’s Emerging Energy Insights.