Steel News

U.S. Sets “Melt and Pour” Rule for Mexican Steel Imports

7/10/2024 - Steel product imports headed to the U.S. from Mexico will now have to prove the metal was melted and poured in North America to qualify for Section 232 tariff exemption, according to a new rule set by the Biden Administration.
In an official press release, the White House said that steel product imports from Mexico that are shown to be melted and poured in countries other than the United States, Mexico or Canada (USMCA) will now be subject to Section 232 tariffs. Products made with metal originating in China will be assessed a 25% tariff.
The rule change aims to close a backdoor exploit in the Section 232 system that allowed non-USMCA steel producers to evade U.S. tariffs by shipping products through Mexico.
“In my judgment, these measures will provide an effective, long-term alternative means to address any contribution by Mexican steel articles imports to the threatened impairment of the national security by restraining steel articles imports to the United States from Mexico, limiting transshipment, and discouraging excess steel capacity and production,” President Joseph Biden said in the announcement.
Industry trade groups have applauded the rule change. Philip Bell, president of the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), said the new guidelines are what “SMA members have long advocated for and are critical to stopping unfairly traded steel crossing our border from Mexico.”
American Iron and Steel Institute president and chief executive Kevin Dempsey also praised the announcement but stressed the need for further action.
“This reform can only be effective if Mexico ensures that accurate and complete information on the country of melt and pour of its steel imports and exports is collected and made available to U.S. officials. We urge the U.S. government to continue to press for additional actions to address the many schemes by steel traders to circumvent and evade U.S. trade laws, and to ensure this new arrangement is vigorously and fully enforced,” Dempsey said in a statement.