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The US has been negotiating with the EU on the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum (GASSA). The GASSA has two main goals, to discourage trade in high-carbon steel and aluminum and to ensure policies that would lower the carbon impact of the steel and aluminum industries. The October 2023 deadline set for the completion of an agreement is growing close, and both sides have a number of issues that are still unresolved. These negotiations were initiated in late 2021 when a tariff rate quota (TRQ) was established for EU counties lifting the Section 232 tariffs charged on steel and aluminum imports. The quotas were established at the volume of the same products imported in 2018, the year the Section 232 tariffs were imposed. Imports in excess of the 2018 levels still fall under the tariffs (25% for steel and 10% for aluminum). Under this agreement, the EU ended the retaliatory tariffs imposed on some US goods and agreed to suspend related future tariff increases. The EU tariffs affected iconic US products such as motorcycles, bourbon, and recreational boats, among others.

Should the talks fail, and if no extension is granted, the full tariffs would once again be charged for all imported products from the EU covered by the Section 232 action. Note that with few exceptions, including our USMCA partners, products from other countries covered under the Sec 232 action are affected by these tariffs. The ability to avoid these tariffs makes EU steel and aluminum more economical while dropping the quotas would increase the cost of products which include EU steel and aluminum inputs. Under this scenario, we could expect the EU to reinstate retaliatory tariffs complicating trade with some of our closest allies.

Since the inception of the TRQs, the US has passed legislation to incentivize lowering carbon emissions and, under the CHIPS and Science Act, created a Low Emissions Steel Manufacturing Research Program. Likewise, the EU, an early mover on climate change, has initiated programs with similar aims. Only time will tell if a new agreement can be reached by the deadline or if enough progress can be made to justify extending the quotas.



Best Regards,

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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