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The US and UK have reached an agreement to ease the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum products exported to the US. This agreement is in line with earlier accords the US reached with the EU and Japan establishing a tariff rate quota (TRQ) for a predetermined amount of steel and aluminum that can enter without the imposition of the Section 232 tariffs. Goods entered in excess of the established quote would be assessed the additional tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum that are currently in place.

These tariffs have been a source of contention with the two countries and resulted in retaliatory tariffs imposed by the UK on $500 million in goods imported from the US. The UK is withdrawing these retaliatory tariffs that effected products such as motorcycles, whiskey and other consumer goods. Included in the agreement is a provision that any UK steelmaker owned by a Chinese entity will be subjected to an annual audit. This audit will be performed to establish that “there is no evidence of market distorting practices by the producer in the UK”. Currently this would apply only to British Steel that was acquired by Chinese owned Jingye Group in 2020. As with the earlier agreements both sides agreed to work closely to address excess capacity in the global steel market.

The Biden administration has made closer ties and cooperation with our traditional allies a focus of America’s trade policy. Following talks between US Trade Representative (USTR), Katherine Tai, and UK Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the two sides committed to take continuing steps on a slate of trade issues, including tackling forced labor, incentives for a decarbonized economy, labor rights, and protection of the environment. The announcement of the agreement can be found here.

Despite the tariff agreement, comments from the USTR indicated that a possible US/UK Free Trade Agreement does not appear to be in the works.

 

Sam McClure, LCB

Director of Compliance & Customs Services

 

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Meet one of CVI’s Customs Brokerage & Compliance experts, Sam McClure:

Sam serves as Director, Compliance and Customs Services for CVI. He serves as CVI’s corporate compliance officer and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of our Customs related services, including growth.

Sam started his career in 1977 with Waters Shipping Company in Charlotte, NC. He began as a document runner, soon becoming a leader in operations and customer service for the branch. Sam, along with Linda Masten, founded Central Carolina Shipping Inc. in 1983 as an independent Customs Brokerage firm where he served as Vice President for 26 years. Sam and Linda grew Central Carolina into a successful and highly respected member of the Carolinas trade community. When Charlotte opened their local chapter of the IFFCBA Sam was part of the organizing group and he headed the Customs committee for several years. Sam obtained his Customs Brokers License in 1984 and remained with Central Carolina until the company was acquired by CVI in 2009.

At CVI, Sam has held several positions in both the operations and sales departments. As an expert in U.S. Customs regulations, Sam is often called upon on to provide guidance to importers on Customs compliance issues. He makes regular presentations on matters related to importation and broader regulatory compliance.

– Sam McClure, LCB, Director of Compliance & Customs Services, CVI
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