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Brady, Reichert Statements on Commerce Announcement Regarding Section 232 Product Exclusion Process

August 30, 2018

Washington, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced improvements to the section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs product exclusion process:

“I welcome President Trump and Secretary Ross’s announcement of several important improvements to the Commerce Department’s authority to issue product exclusions. These enhancements allow U.S. companies to obtain needed and fairly traded steel and aluminum inputs that are not available from U.S. suppliers.

“I have joined with many other Members of Congress over the last several months – including Dave Reichert, Jackie Walorski and Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson – to urge Secretary Ross to consider these common-sense improvements, and I applaud him for doing so. These changes will improve the competitiveness of our local businesses.

“I hope that these expansions to Commerce’s authority to issue product exclusions will make a real difference to the hundreds of U.S. companies in Texas and throughout the country that await a decision on their product exclusion requests. Now that these very helpful improvements are in place, I am confident that Commerce will continue to expedite and streamline the process using its existing authority to make relief broadly available and extend it where there are no objections. I will continue to engage with Secretary Ross and his staff to that end.”

Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) added:

“I am pleased the Administration is now making significant improvements to the 232 product exclusion process and responding to the requests made by my colleagues and me. Through hearings and letters, we have requested these changes to make the process more effective and efficient for American businesses, workers, and manufacturers. I thank the Administration for making several of these important reforms and urge the timely consideration of the remaining applications.”

Background: President Trump signed proclamations yesterday that make several changes to the Commerce Department’s authority to issue product exclusions from tariffs and quotas on steel and aluminum that have been imposed under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. These changes allow the Commerce Department to grant product exclusions for products that are from countries subject to quotas, just as it can do for products from other countries; allow for limited grandfathering of certain contracts to import steel or aluminum that were entered into prior to the announcement of Section 232 tariffs on March 8, 2018; and extend retroactivity of relief from product exclusion to the date that the request for relief was accepted by the Department of Commerce (rather than the date the application was posted, as was previously the case).