This Morning in Metals: US Court of International Trade dismisses tariff exclusion challenge

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This morning in metals news: the US Court of International Trade rejected a tariff exclusion process challenge; meanwhile, a metals trader ordered 10,000 tons of copper blister and got something else; and, finally, aluminum is gaining popularity as a material for outdoor living products.

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US Court of International Trade rules on Section 232 tariff exclusion process

Michigan-based metals supplier Thyssenkrupp Materials NA, Inc., challenged the Section 232 tariff exclusion process, arguing it leads to “exclusions on an application basis to specific requestors and not automatically to all importers of a particular article, creates a non-uniform tax across the United States in violation of the Uniformity Clause of the Constitution.”

Former President Donald Trump used Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose tariffs in 2018. Trump imposed tariffs of 10% on imported aluminum and 25% on imported steel.

In addition, US importers could apply for exclusions to the tariffs through the Department of Commerce.

Thyssenkrupp Materials NA asked for two forms of relief. They asked for refunds on duties already paid, plus interest, for any good that any requestor has received an exclusion. Furthermore, the importer asked for an injunction preventing Customs and Border Protection from collecting duties on any product that has been granted an exclusion by any requestor.

The government, meanwhile, argued the importer did not make a claim for an exclusion that had been denied. As a result, it argued the importer had not received injury from the process.

The three-judge panel sided with the government in the case.

“Because the exclusion process promulgated by Commerce does not violate the Uniformity Clause of the Constitution and does not reflect an improper construction of the President’s Proclamations, the Government’s motion to dismiss is granted,” the judges concluded.

Trader receives painted stone instead of copper blister

A Geneva-based trader ordered 10,000 tons of copper blister but ended up receiving painted stone, instead, BBC News reported.

Mercuria Energy Group ordered approximately $36 million worth of the product.

However, when the products arrived in China after shipping from Turkey, the trader discovered the product had been switched with stones that had been painted to look like the metal.

Increasing aluminum popularity for outdoor home goods

According to a release from Accesswire citing survey data, aluminum appears to be more and more popular for use in outdoor living products, like railings.

The release cites a 2019 survey by Principia Consulting, which projected aluminum to be the fastest growing railing material (compared with vinyl or composites).

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