Tariff Exclusions: Section 232 Tariffs
The following information is part of the Tariff Exclusion Quantification Initiative at the Mercatus Center. For similar information on Section 301 tariffs, please visit the Section 301 tariffs page. For interactive heat maps displaying the Section 232 tariff microdata, please visit our tariffs interactive page.
Section 232 Tarrifs: Thousands of Exclusion Requests from US Firms
Under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the Commerce Department conducted investigations to determine whether steel and aluminum import tariffs pose a threat to national security. On March 8, 2018, President Trump used the recommendations from these Commerce reports to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. A tariff is a tax levied on imported goods and paid by the importer.
In response to these increased costs, US firms and individuals that use steel and aluminum may file a request to be excluded from these tariffs. The exclusion request process is conducted by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Commerce Department, and all requests are made publicly available on regulations.gov. US producers of steel and aluminum have the ability to object to any exclusion request within 30 days of its submission. Multiple objections can be made for a single exclusion request.
As of June 17, 2019, there have been a total of 72,771 steel and aluminum tariff exclusion requests filed by 1,060 firms. The firms filing the exclusion requests represent 288 congressional districts for steel tariff exclusions and 149 congressional districts for aluminum tariff exclusions.
There have been 62,797 exclusion requests for an exemption from the steel tariffs, and steel manufacturers have filed 22,210 objections. The BIS has reached a decision on 70 percent of the steel exclusion requests; 30,545 (49 percent) have been approved, 13,261 (21 percent) have been denied, and 18,991 (30 percent) remain pending.
There have been 9,974 exclusion requests for an exemption from the aluminum tariffs, and aluminum manufacturers have filed 2456 objections. The BIS has reached a decision on 59 percent of the aluminum exclusion requests; 4,978 (50 percent) have been approved, 862 (9 percent) have been denied, and 4134 (41 percent) remain pending.
The datasets used to create the interactive maps can be downloaded below. In addition, the microdata at the exclusion request level that was used to calculate the data at the state and congressional district level can be downloaded below. When using the data, please refer to the codebook. The maps and datasets will be regularly updated as additional exclusion requests and objections are submitted.
As on June 19, 2019, the Commerce Department received exclusion requests in a new online portal specifically designed for the Section 232 steel and aluminum exclusion requests. The new portal can be found here.
On this new portal, we found that as of August 27, 2019, there have been a total of 16,783 steel and aluminum tariff exclusion requests filed by 432 firms. The firms filing the exclusion requests represent 184 congressional districts for steel tariff exclusions and 62 congressional districts for aluminum tariff exclusions.
There have been 15,477 exclusion requests for an exemption from the steel tariff, and 1,306 exclusion requests for an exemption from the aluminum tariff on the new portal. As of August 27, 2019, the BIS has reached a decision on less than one percent of the steel exclusion requests: 18 (0.12 percent) approved, 1 (0 percent) denied, and 10,462 (68 percent) remain pending. 294 (1.90 percent) were withdrawn and 4,702 (30 percent) have an unknown status.
Similarly for the aluminum tariff exclusion requests: 0 approved, 0 denied, 587 (45 percent) remain pending, 66 (5 percent) withdrawn and 653 (50 percent) have an unknown status.
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