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US firm wins reprieve from expanded duties on steel products

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The U.S. Court of International Trade has issued a temporary order under which U.S. customs agents cannot collect duties from a U.S. company under President Donald Trump's recently-announced expansion of steel and aluminum tariffs.

FILE PHOTO – U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about trade at the Granite City Works steel coil warehouse in Granite City, Illinois, U.S., July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

15 Feb 2020 08:05AM

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WASHINGTON: The U.S. Court of International Trade has issued a temporary order under which U.S. customs agents cannot collect duties from a U.S. company under President Donald Trump's recently-announced expansion of steel and aluminum tariffs.

PrimeSource Building Products had challenged Trump's surprise expansion of existing tariffs to include derivative products such as steel nails and aluminum cables.

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It withdrew its request for a temporary restraining order after reaching an agreement with U.S. government officials under which U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other U.S. government agencies agreed not to impose the duties for now.

Heritage Foundation trade economist Tori Smith said the decision was great news for PrimeSource and foreshadowed another setback for the Trump administration in its imposition of steel tariffs.

The New York-based trade court had ruled against Trump in November, concluding that he had exceeded the time limit on his "Section 232" authority when he tried to double the tariff on steel imports from Turkey last year.

"Given the court's position on the Turkey case, it is likely that the (Court of International Trade) will determine these derivative tariffs are also not permitted under Section 232," Smith said in a statement.

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