President Joe Biden’s Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Steel into United States

United States President Joe Biden.
United States President Joe Biden.

The White HouseWashington, D.C. – 1.  On January 11th, 2018, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) transmitted to the President a report on the Secretary’s investigation into the effect of imports of steel mill articles (steel articles) on the national security of the United States under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862).  The Secretary found and advised the President of his opinion that steel articles are being imported into the United States in such quantities and under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States.

2.  In Proclamation 9705 of March 8th, 2018 (Adjusting Imports of Steel Into the United States), the President concurred in the Secretary’s finding that steel articles, as defined in clause 1 of Proclamation 9705, as amended by clause 8 of Proclamation 9711 of March 22nd, 2018 (Adjusting Imports of Steel Into the United States), are being imported into the United States in such quantities and under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States, and decided to adjust the imports of those steel articles by imposing a 25 percent ad valorem tariff on such articles imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.  The proclamation further stated that any country with which we have a security relationship is welcome to discuss with the United States alternative ways to address the threatened impairment of the national security caused by imports from that country, and noted that, should the United States and any such country arrive at a satisfactory alternative means to address the threat to the national security such that the President determines that imports from that country no longer threaten to impair the national security, the President may remove or modify the restriction on steel articles imports from that country and, if necessary, adjust the tariff as it applies to other countries, as the national security interests of the United States require.    

3.  In Proclamation 9711, the President noted the continuing discussions with the European Union (EU) on behalf of its member countries on satisfactory alternative means to address the threatened impairment to the national security by imports of steel articles from these countries.  Recognizing that the member countries of the EU have an important security relationship with the United States, the President determined that the necessary and appropriate means to address the threat to the national security posed by imports of steel articles from these countries was to continue the ongoing discussions and to exempt steel articles imports from these countries from the tariff proclaimed in Proclamation 9705 until May 1st, 2018.  In Proclamation 9740 of April 30th, 2018 (Adjusting Imports of Steel Into the United States), the President noted that, unless the President determines by further proclamation that the United States has reached a satisfactory alternative means to remove the threatened impairment to the national security by imports of steel articles from the member countries of the EU, the tariff proclaimed in Proclamation 9705 shall be effective June 1st, 2018, for these countries.

4.  The United States has successfully concluded discussions with the EU on behalf of its member countries on satisfactory alternative means to address the threatened impairment of the national security posed by steel articles imports from the EU.  The United States and the EU have agreed to expand coordination involving trade remedies and customs matters, monitor bilateral steel and aluminum trade, cooperate on addressing non-market excess capacity, and annually review their arrangement for alternative means and their ongoing cooperation.  In addition, the United States and the EU will seek to conclude, by October 31st, 2023, negotiations on global steel and aluminum arrangements to restore market-oriented conditions and support the reduction of carbon intensity of steel and aluminum across modes of production.


5.  The United States will implement a number of actions, including a tariff-rate quota that restricts the quantity of steel articles imported into the United States from the EU without the application of the tariff proclaimed in Proclamation 9705.  Under the arrangement, steel articles that are melted and poured in the EU are eligible for in-quota treatment.  In my judgment, these measures will provide an effective, long-term alternative means to address any contribution by EU steel articles imports to the threatened impairment of the national security by restraining steel articles imports to the United States from the EU, limiting transshipment, discouraging excess steel capacity and production, and strengthening the United States-EU partnership in a fashion that will better enable future arrangements.  In light of this agreement, I have determined that specified volumes of eligible steel articles imports from the EU will no longer threaten to impair the national security and have decided to exclude such imports from the EU up to a designated quota from the tariff proclaimed in Proclamation 9705 through December 31st, 2023.  The United States will monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the tariff-rate quota and other measures agreed upon with the EU in addressing our national security needs, and I may revisit this determination, as appropriate.

6.  The alternative means, including the tariff-rate quota, advance the recommendations contained in the Secretary’s January 2018 report.  The agreed-upon aggregate tariff-rate quota volume specified in the agreement between the United States and the EU, totaling 3.3 million metric tons, is consistent with the objective of reaching and maintaining a sufficient capacity utilization rate in the domestic steel industry.

7.  The United States also agreed to renew for 2 calendar years all exclusions that were granted and utilized to import steel products tariff-free from the EU in Fiscal Year 2021.  These exclusions were granted by the Department of Commerce due to a lack of domestic availability of the specified products in the United States.


8.  In light of my determination to adjust the tariff proclaimed in Proclamation 9705 as applied to eligible steel articles imported from the EU, I have considered whether it is necessary and appropriate in light of our national security interests to make any corresponding adjustments to such tariff as it applies to other countries.  I have determined that it is necessary and appropriate, at this time, to maintain the current tariff level as it applies to other countries.

9.  Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended, authorizes the President to adjust the imports of an article and its derivatives that are being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security.

10.  Section 604 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2483), authorizes the President to embody in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) the substance of statutes affecting import treatment, and actions thereunder, including the removal, modification, continuance, or imposition of any rate of duty or other import restriction.

Now, Therefore, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN jr., President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended, section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and section 604 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, do hereby proclaim as follows:

(1)  To establish a tariff-rate quota on imports of steel articles from member countries of the EU as set forth in paragraph 5 of this proclamation, U.S. Note 16 of subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS is amended as provided for in the Annex to this proclamation.  Imports of steel articles from member countries of the EU in excess of the tariff-rate quota quantities shall remain subject to the duties imposed by clause 2 of Proclamation 9705, as amended.  The Secretary, in consultation with the United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall recommend to the President, as warranted, updates to the in-quota volumes contained in the Annex to this proclamation.

(2)  Clause 2 of Proclamation 9705, as amended, is revised to read as follows: 

     “(2)(a)  In order to establish certain modifications to the duty rate on imports of steel articles, subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS is modified as provided in the Annex to this proclamation and any subsequent proclamations regarding such steel articles.


     (b)  Except as otherwise provided in this proclamation, or in notices published pursuant to clause 3 of this proclamation, all steel articles imports covered by heading 9903.80.01, in subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS, shall be subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty with respect to goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, as follows: (i) on or after 12:01am eastern daylight time on March 23rd, 2018, from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and the member countries of the European Union; (ii) on or after 12:01am eastern daylight time on June 1st, 2018, from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and South Korea; (iii) on or after 12:01am eastern daylight time on August 13th, 2018, from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, and Turkey; (iv) on or after 12:01am eastern daylight time on May 20th, 2019, from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, and Turkey; (v) on or after 12:01am eastern daylight time on May 21st, 2019, from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea; and (vi) on or after 12:01am eastern standard time on January 1st, 2022, from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea, and except the member countries of the European Union through 11:59pm eastern standard time on December 31st, 2023, for steel articles covered by headings 9903.80.65 through 9903.81.19, inclusive.  Further, except as otherwise provided in notices published pursuant to clause 3 of this proclamation, all steel articles imports from Turkey covered by heading 9903.80.02, in subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS, shall be subject to a 50 percent ad valorem rate of duty with respect to goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01am eastern daylight time on August 13th, 2018, and prior to 12:01am eastern daylight time on May 21st, 2019.  All steel articles imports covered by heading 9903.80.61, in subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS, shall be subject to the additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty established herein with respect to goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01am eastern time on the date specified in a determination by the Secretary granting relief.  These rates of duty, which are in addition to any other duties, fees, exactions, and charges applicable to such imported steel articles, shall apply to imports of steel articles from each country as specified in the preceding three sentences”.

(3)  The first two sentences of clause 1 of Proclamation 9980 of January 24th, 2020 (Adjusting Imports of Derivative Aluminum Articles and Derivative Steel Articles Into the United States), are revised to read as follows:


     “In order to establish increases in the duty rate on imports of certain derivative articles, subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS is modified as provided in Annex I and Annex II to this proclamation.  Except as otherwise provided in this proclamation, all imports of derivative aluminum articles specified in Annex I to this proclamation shall be subject to an additional 10 percent ad valorem rate of duty, and all imports of derivative steel articles specified in Annex II to this proclamation shall be subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty, with respect to goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, as follows: (i) on or after 12:01am eastern standard time on February 8th, 2020, these rates of duty, which are in addition to any other duties, fees, exactions, and charges applicable to such imported derivative aluminum articles or steel articles, shall apply to imports of derivative aluminum articles described in Annex I to this proclamation from all countries except Argentina, the Commonwealth of Australia (Australia), Canada, and the United Mexican States (Mexico) and to imports of derivative steel articles described in Annex II to this proclamation from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea and; (ii) on or after 12:01am eastern standard time on January 1st, 2022, these rates of duty, which are in addition to any other duties, fees, exactions, and charges applicable to such imported derivative aluminum articles or steel articles, shall apply to imports of derivative aluminum articles described in Annex I to this proclamation from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Canada, the member countries of the European Union and Mexico and to imports of derivative steel articles described in Annex II to this proclamation from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the member countries of the European Union, Mexico, and South Korea.”  


(4)  Steel eligible for treatment under clause 1 of this proclamation must be melted and poured in a member country of the EU in order to receive such treatment.  The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the United States Trade Representative, is authorized to take such actions as are necessary to ensure compliance with this requirement.  Failure to comply could result in applicable remedies such as the collection of the tariff set forth in clause 2 of Proclamation 9705, or penalties under United States law.

(5)  Steel articles from a member country of the EU imported under an exclusion granted pursuant to clause 3 of Proclamation 9705, as amended, shall not count against the in-quota volume of the tariff-rate quota established in clause 1 of this proclamation.

(6)  The Secretary is directed to renew all utilized exclusions granted pursuant to clause 3 of Proclamation 9705, as amended, in Fiscal Year 2021 (October 1st, 2020, through September 30th, 2021), for the import of steel articles from one or more member countries of the EU for a period of 2 years from the date of this proclamation.  The renewed exclusions shall be for an annual volume equal to that volume imported from a member country of the EU pursuant to the exclusion in Fiscal Year 2021.  The Secretary shall communicate to U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security the exclusions and the volumes of steel articles from member countries of the EU that are allowed under this provision.  The Secretary shall, by publication on the Internet, or by other means, inform importers of the availability and volume of exclusions renewed by this provision.  This provision does not alter or modify in any way the ability of importers to seek additional exclusions in accordance with clause 3 of Proclamation 9705, as amended, and as implemented by the Department of Commerce, for the import of steel articles from a member country of the EU.

(7)  The Secretary shall, within 45 days of the issuance of this proclamation, publish in the Federal Register a notice seeking comments from interested parties on the exclusion process as set forth in Supplement No. 1 to part 705 of title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  Issues to be included for comment should include the responsiveness of the exclusion process to market demand and enhanced consultation with United States firms and labor organizations.  Within 60 days of the close of the comment period of the notice, the Secretary shall issue a proposed regulation revising the exclusion process as deemed appropriate following consideration of such comments.  In carrying out the review of the exclusion process, the Secretary shall review whether the criteria for review of exclusion requests in clause 3 of Proclamation 9705 that the “steel article determined not to be produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality and is also authorized to provide such relief based upon specific national security considerations” and clause 3 of Proclamation 9704 that the “aluminum article determined not to be produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality and is also authorized to provide such relief based upon specific national security considerations” continues to be the appropriate criterion for making determinations.  The Secretary is authorized to make such changes to the criteria as the Secretary deems necessary and shall issue a final rule implementing such changes within 60 days of the comment period on the proposed regulation.  

(8)  The Secretary, in coordination with the Secretary of State and the heads of other executive departments and agencies as necessary, shall establish a process to assist United States steel and aluminum consumers in identifying suppliers in those trading partners with which the United States has negotiated an arrangement under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended, that can provide the relevant product.

(9)  On a regular basis, the Department of Commerce shall publish on its website the volume of steel articles imported under exclusions issued pursuant to clause 3 of Proclamation 9705, as amended.

(10)  The modifications to the HTSUS made by clause 1 of this proclamation shall be effective with respect to goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01am eastern standard time on January 1st, 2022, and shall continue in effect, unless such actions are expressly reduced, modified, or terminated.


(11)  Any imports of steel articles from the member countries of the EU that were admitted into a United States foreign trade zone under “privileged foreign status” as defined in 19 CFR 146.41, prior to 12:01am eastern standard time on January 1st, 2022, shall be subject upon entry for consumption made on or after 12:01am eastern standard time on January 1st, 2022, to the provisions of the tariff-rate quota in effect at the time of the entry for consumption.

(12)  Any provision of previous proclamations and Executive Orders that is inconsistent with the actions taken in this proclamation is superseded to the extent of such inconsistency.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.