US starts accepting steel, aluminum product exclusion requests from tariffs

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Washington, March 20 (IANS) The US Department of Commerce has started accepting the domestic industry’s product exclusion requests from the recently announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports on Monday, according to a rule published by the department.

The interim final rule, published on the government official journal Federal Register and formally effective on Monday, outlines the procedures for the US industry to seek such exclusions, reports Xinhua.

Approved exclusions will be made on a product basis by the Commerce Department and will be limited to individuals or organisations that submitted the specific exclusion request, according to the rule.

“These procedures will allow the Administration to further hone these tariffs to ensure they protect our national security while also minimising undue impact on downstream American industries,” US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross was quoted as saying.

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It is estimated that the department will receive steel tariff exclusion requests from 4,500 applicants and aluminum tariff exclusion requests from 1,500 respondents, according to Politico, a US political website.

However, the Office of the US Trade Representative has not informed the public how countries can be excluded from those tariffs, the report said.

The move came after the Trump administration’s announcement of a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel and a 10 per cent tariff on imported aluminum earlier this month, which would formally take effect on Friday.

–IANS

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