The US announced that starting on 22 June 2018 it will impose additional duties of 25 % and 10 % respectively on imports of steel and aluminium from the EU. This is more than a week earlier than originally planned.

The US measures affect EU exports worth €6.4 billion in 2017. The EU is ready to react to with proportionate response and has a list of goods, including seats, it intends to place additional duties upon, termed ‘rebalancing’.

The EU launched legal proceedings against the US in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 1 June. The EU has dismissed the USA’s justification that the duties are necessary for reasons of national security and instead say they are clearly protectionist measures.

The EU has determined the level of tariffs to be applied and they reflect the damage caused by the new US trade restrictions on EU products. The EU notified its potential rebalancing to the WTO on 18 May and, in line with the Organisation rules, could trigger them 30 days later. The Commission has now decided to proceed with the rebalancing from Friday 22nd June 2018.

By product code, the furniture proposed by the EU for additional duties of 50% is as follows:

    • 31001190 (CN 940179) - Non-upholstered seats with metal frames EXCLUDING: - medical, surgical, dental or veterinary seats - barbers' or similar chairs - swivel seats
    • 31001290 (CN 940169) - Non-upholstered seats with wooden frames EXCLUDING: - swivel seats
    • 31001170 (CN 940171) - Upholstered seats with metal frames EXCLUDING: - swivel seats - medical, surgical, dental or veterinary seats - barbers' or similar chairs - for motor vehicles - for aircraft
    • 31001250 (CN 940161) - Upholstered seats with wooden frames INCLUDING: - three piece suites EXCLUDING: - swivel seats
    • 31001300 (CN 940180) - Other seats INCLUDING: - plastic garden seats, camping seats EXCLUDING: - for aircraft - for motor vehicles - swivel seats - seats convertible into beds - seats of cane, osier, bamboo or similar - seats with wooden or metal frames - medical, surgical, dental/veterinary seats - barbers' or similar chairs

EU link to full product list of additiional duties and background.