US companies seeking tariff relief faced red tape, delays

FILE - In this June 28, 2018, file photo, rolls of finished steel are seen at the U.S. Steel Granite City Works facility in Granite City, Ill. Companies seeking relief from President Donald Trump’s taxes on imported steel and aluminum ran into long delays and cumbersome paperwork, a federal watchdog found, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. The U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that the Commerce Department, overwhelmed by companies lobbying to avoid the tariffs, could not meet its own deadline for processing around three-fourths of the requests. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies seeking relief from President Donald Trump’s taxes on imported steel and aluminum ran into long delays and cumbersome paperwork, a federal watchdog found. The U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that the Commerce Department, overwhelmed by companies lobbying to avoid the tariffs, could not meet its own deadline for processing around three-fourths of the requests. And Commerce rejected nearly a fifth of the applications before weighing the merits of the appeal because the paperwork was incomplete or included errors.