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COURT DECLARES SECTION 232 STEEL AND ALUMINUM “DERIVATIVE” TARIFFS UNLAWFUL; REFUNDS MAY BE AVAILABLE

On April 5, 2021, the U.S. Court of International Trade issued an opinion declaring the Section 232 steel and aluminum “derivative” tariffs unlawful, and ordered the government to refund any duties to the plaintiff.  Prime Source Building Products v. United States, Slip Op. 21-36.

The Section 232 “derivative” tariffs were imposed beginning January 24, 2020 on certain articles of steel and aluminum such as nails, tacks, stranded wire (of aluminum), and bumper stampings.  A complete list of affected products can be found at 85 Fed. Reg. 5281.  The 232 tariff is 25% ad valorem on the steel articles and 10% ad valorem on the aluminum articles.  The court found these tariffs unlawful because the President had imposed them beyond the time limit authorized by Section 232.  The decision in Prime Source only affects tariffs on these “derivative” products.  It does not impact the initial Section 232 tariffs imposed on certain steel and aluminum.

It is anticipated that the government will appeal this decision to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  If you have questions about the impact of this decision, including what steps are needed to protect potential recovery of refunds, please feel free to contact one of our attorneys.

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