Feb 7, 2022 - Economy

U.S. and Japan reach deal to end Trump-era steel tariffs

Picture of Gina Raimondo speaking into a microphone

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. and Japan on Monday announced an agreement that will end steel tariffs imposed by former President Trump.

State of play: The U.S. remove the 25% tariff for a limited amount of steel products, specifically 1.25 million pounds, coming in from Japan, according to senior U.S. Trade Representative and Department of Commerce officials.

  • As part of the deal, "Japan has committed to take concrete actions to fight against excess capacity and steel," per senior USTR and Commerce Department officials.
  • The deal does not cover aluminum imports, which are still subject to a 10% tariff. Japanese officials chose not to include aluminum in the agreement.
  • The agreement will become effective on April 1.

What they're saying: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement the deal "will strengthen America’s steel industry and ensure its workforce stays competitive, while also providing more access to cheaper steel and addressing a major irritant between the United States and Japan, one of our most important allies."

“Today’s announcement builds on the deal we struck with the EU and will further help us rebuild relationships with our allies around the world as we work to fight against China’s unfair trade practices and create a more competitive global economy for America’s families, businesses and workers."
— Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo

Flashback: The Trump administration in 2018 imposed the tariffs on steel and aluminum from several areas, including the European Union and Asia, claiming that the foreign products were a threat to U.S. national security.

Catch up fast: The U.S. attempted to resolve the dispute with Japan in December, but Japanese officials did not agree to the deal and instead looked for the tariffs to be completely abolished, Bloomberg reports.

Between the lines: The deal with Japan is similar to one reached between the U.S. and the EU in October which eased tariffs on metals.

Go deeper