Tin cans for food on wooden background

Dept. of Commerce Proposes Tinplate Steel Tariffs only on China, Germany and the UK

Aug. 22, 2023
Consumer Brands Association claims a tentative victory for consumers and canned goods manufacturers, as preliminary decision imposes no tariffs on five nations listed in steel industry petition.

The U.S. Department of Commerce last week released a preliminary decision on a petition to impose tariffs on tinplate steel imports from eight nations into the U.S. The agency has agreed to impose tariffs on tinplate steel from China, Germany and Canada, but will not impose tariffs on imports from the Netherlands, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The Consumer Brands Association called the preliminary decision “a tentative win for consumers,” who would have seen skyrocketing prices of canned goods due to increased production costs and a loss of jobs at can manufacturing facilities in the U.S., the association said.

Further, Consumer Brands’ statement reads: “The Biden administration’s analysis correctly shows zero evidence of less-than-fair-market-value steel coming from five countries: The Netherlands, Taiwan, South Korea, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The extremely low preliminary duty rates on Canada (5.29 percent) and Germany (7.02 percent) further confirms that there is no merit to dumping claims and should lead the International Trade Commission to a no-injury determination. As it finalizes its investigation, Commerce should further scrutinize its analysis and confirm that there is no reason to justify even these marginal tariffs on Canada and Germany.”

The proposed tariff on China would be 122.52%.

The petition was filed by steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, and it claimed the eight named countries were dumping tin- and chromium-coated sheet steel products in the U.S., undercutting reasonable domestic prices. The petition was also filed with the International Trade Commission, which made an initial ruling in the petitioners’ favor, suggesting tariffs of 47-296%.

The U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission are expected to issue a final determination in early 2024.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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