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US Trade Tariffs – staying up to date

Trade War

Be among the first to know about the latest developments in the multi-front trade dispute between the U.S. and many of its biggest trade partners by signing up to receive our Email Alerts! or visiting our web pages on the Trade War

The trade disputes began in March 2018, when the U.S. launched its first round of tariffs.  Subsequent rounds, hitting products made in Canada, Mexico, the EU and China, have been met by equal penalties on US products. 

Here are the latest updates at a glance:


August 6, 2020:  U.S. imposes 10% aluminum tariff – Canada to retaliate

The U.S. announced the imposition of tariffs on Canadian aluminum to take effect August 16, 2020.  The 10% tariff will apply to non-alloyed unwrought aluminum of HS tariff classification 7601.10.

Following is an excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States:

(5)  Any imports of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum articles from Canada provided for in subheading 7601.10 that were admitted into a United States foreign trade zone under “privileged foreign status” as defined in 19 CFR 146.41 prior to 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on August 16, 2020, shall be subject upon entry for consumption on or after such time and date to the 10 percent ad valorem rate of duty imposed by Proclamation 9704, as amended.

August 6, 2020:  Canada announces intention to impose dollar-for-dollar countermeasure tariffs

In a statement issued by Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, she said, “In response to the American tariffs, Canada intends to swiftly impose dollar-for-dollar countermeasures.”

August 7, 2020:  Canada retaliates against U.S. with $3.6B in tariffs

The Government of Canada issued a proposed list of 10% countermeasure tariffs for public comment, by September 6, 2020, to take effect by September 16, 2020.

August 16, 2020:  10% US tariff on Canadian aluminum takes effect
The 10% Section 232 duties became effective on imports of Canadian aluminum under HS tariff 7601.10.  Additional duties are not subject to duty drawback.

September 6, 2020:  Due date to submit any written comments to Government of Canada concerning the potential countermeasure tariffs
Written comments should be provided no later than September 6, 2020.  Submissions, at a minimum, should include the following information:

  1. Canadian company/industry association name and contact person.
  2. Relevant eight-digit tariff item(s) and description of the goods of particular interest.
  3. Reasons for the expressed support for, or concern with, the proposed countermeasures, including detailed information substantiating any expected beneficial or adverse impact.
  4. Please identify if information provided in the submissions is commercially sensitive.

All comments and general inquiries should be sent to the following email address:  Only submissions by email will be accepted.  Please include the term “Aluminum countermeasures” in the subject line of your submission.


August 24, 2020:  Call on US Phase One deal with China
The U.S. and China resumed talks concerning implementation of the Phase One trade deal after weeks of delays.

Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin spoke with China’s Vice Premier Liu He to address steps that China has taken to effect changes called for by the Agreement that will ensure greater protection for intellectual property rights, remove impediments to American companies in the areas of financial services and agriculture, and eliminate forced technology transfer.  These measures, along with significant increases in purchases of U.S. products by China, were discussed in order to implement the agreement.  A statement on the call was issued from Ambassador Lighthizer.

The China Tariffs into the U.S. were implemented in 4 stages, based upon HS tariff classification:

$34 Billion Trade Action (List 1)
$16 Billion Trade Action (List 2)
$200 Billion Trade Action (List 3)
$300 Billion Trade Action (List 4)
Search Tariff Lists (Search for an HTS Subheading subject to a proposed or ongoing Section 301 tariff action)

For more information, contact Brian Rowe, Director – Customs Compliance & Regulatory Affairs.

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