November 29, 2018


Chinese Metals Win U.S. Tariff Waivers With Little Resistance (Jim Tankersley, Nov. 28, 2018, NY Times)

[H]is administration has granted nearly 3,000 requests that could exempt Chinese-made metal products from the tariffs, according to a congressional analysis shared with The New York Times.

Since March, when the tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum went into effect, the Commerce Department has approved a higher share of exclusion requests that include imports from China than it has from American allies like Japan and Canada. [...]

The exclusions stem from the Commerce Department's process for determining whether companies can win tariff relief for imported metals. The requests are generally granted as long as no American producer formally objects and says it can provide the metals.

Both supporters and opponents of the tariffs have criticized the process as haphazard and ineffective. Aluminum trade groups -- including some that have criticized the tariffs -- say the fact that Mandel received approval to import more metal, including aluminum from China, than it can use highlights the program's flaws. Others have criticized the process for giving large domestic producers, like Nucor and Century Aluminum, outsize power to block exemptions by claiming they can provide the metals.

"Generally, it seems the department is not evaluating whether there is actually demand in the market for these large volumes and has granted the requests based simply on the absence of any objections," Heidi Brock, the president of the Aluminum Association, wrote in a letter to the Commerce Department this month. She cited Mandel and another set of exclusions, to Ta Chen International, for potentially one billion pounds of imports from China.

He cares about the hate, not the processes.

Posted by at November 29, 2018 3:59 AM