Background on Section 232 Aluminum and Steel Tariffs
Section 232 investigations, administered by the U.S. Commerce Department, are conducted to determine the imports of certain goods on national security. Historically, Section 232 investigations have been conducted regarding U.S. imports of crude oil and petroleum products and uranium, among other critical imports. Under the Trump administration, the Commerce Department initiated investigations of U.S. imports of aluminum and steel on April 27, 2017. The investigation resulted in an affirmative determination that such imports harm U.S. national security. As a result of the investigation’s findings, Trump imposed tariffs on certain U.S. imports of aluminum and steel on national security grounds. An exclusion process was also implemented in which U.S. importers could apply for tariffs to be excluded for certain steel and aluminum product imports.