McCaskill Statement on New Tariff Exclusion Policy

Senator: Why hasn’t this been in place since day one?

WASHINGTON – Following the announcement from the U.S. Department of Commerce that companies forced to pay steel and aluminum tariffs as part of the ongoing trade war will now be able to appeal objections filed against their exclusion requests, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, who has called on the Administration to do more to help small businesses navigate the tariff exemption process, issued the following statement:

“How in the world was this not in place before? I want Missouri businesses to have the opportunity to appeal these harmful tariffs, but they’ve been waiting patiently for months while their businesses suffered and are now being told there’s a whole new process? I’m going to continue to do anything I can to help the Missouri manufacturers hurt by these tariffs, but this is more evidence that these tariffs weren’t thought out at all and this trade war needs to end.”

American manufacturers have submitted more than 38,000 exclusion requests, which have received 17,000 objections. Prior to this new rule, companies were unable to appeal or respond to objections filed against their exclusion requests.

McCaskill, who has spoken out against the ongoing trade war and advocated on behalf of Missouri small businesses facing large financial burdens from the tariffs, called on the Administration to help small businesses navigate the tariff exemption process to give them much-needed certainty and transparency. As part of her ongoing oversight of the Administration’s tariff and trade policies, McCaskill called on four steel and aluminum companies to explain their role in the tariff exclusion process. Senator McCaskill also called on the Commerce Department to produce all communications explaining the development of the tariff exclusions process. This oversight comes as officials at the Department of Commerce stated that they have not granted a single steel exclusion request that drew an objection.

McCaskill has heard firsthand from Missourians about the negative economic impact of the trade war on Missouri’s economy. McCaskill recently hosted a roundtable to hear from Missouri businesses and agriculture leaders, and in June toured Mid Continent Nail Corporation, the largest U.S. producer of steel nails, which was forced to reduce its workforce by more than 30 percent because of soaring costs and canceled sales resulting from tariffs that the Administration placed on imported materials the company uses to produce nails.

McCaskill has been a strong advocate on behalf of Missouri businesses and workers in the face of the ongoing trade war, which she has called on the Administration to end, and is working across the aisle to bring greater Congressional oversight to tariff decisions. Additionally, McCaskill highlighted Missouri businesses that are impacted by the trade war and called for quick relief for Missouri businesses from the Department of Commerce, which oversees the tariffs and exemption requests for specific products that Missouri manufacturers import.

Visit mccaskill.senate.gov/jobs to learn more about McCaskill’s fight to boost job opportunities in Missouri.

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