2018/03/02

What can Asian suppliers do over Trump's tariff plans?

What is the trend of future steel and aluminum prices? As we all know, the prices will be affected by some countries’ economic policy, such as Trump’s plan. Asia now fears trade war after Trump plans hefty steel, aluminum tariffs.

Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on steel and aluminum will distort global trade and cost jobs, said Australia’s trade minister on Friday, highlighting the risk of retaliatory measures as Asian exporters sought more detail on the plans.

Fears of an escalating trade war hit the share prices of Asian steelmakers and manufacturers supplying U.S. markets particularly hard on Friday following a rough night on Wall Street.

image credit: internet

Trump said the duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum would be formally announced next week, although White House officials later said some details still needed to be ironed out.

Australia, which has championed the free-trade Trans Pacific Partnership that Trump pulled the United States out of, has sought an exemption for its steel and aluminum to the United States, Ciobo added.

Steel has become key focus for Trump, who pledged to restore the U.S. industry and punish what he sees as unfair trade practices, particularly by China.

Although China only accounts for 2 percent of U.S. steel imports, its massive industry expansion has helped produce a global glut of steel that has driven down prices.

South Korea, the third-largest steel exporter to the United States after Canada and Brazil, said it will keep talking to U.S. officials until Washington’s plans for tariffs are finalised.

South Korean trade minister Kim Hyun-chong has been in the United States since Feb. 25, the trade ministry said. Kim has met U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and other officials to raise concerns over the so-called Section 232 probe and consider a plan that would minimize the damage to South Korean companies.
NATIONAL SECURITY?

Asian steelmakers fear U.S. tariffs could result in their domestic markets becoming flooded with steel products that have nowhere else to go.

“We are concerned about how other exporters react, what will happen with steel that cannot be sold to the U.S.,” Vikrom Wacharakrup, Chairman of Iron and Steel Industry Group, Federation of Thai Industries, told Reuters. Thailand exports steel mainly to Asia but also to the United States.

The Trump administration also cited national security interests for its action, saying the United States needs domestic supplies for its tanks and warships.

Contrary to the action announced by Trump on Thursday, the Department of Defense had recommended targeted steel tariffs and a delay in aluminum duties.

“We continue to seek clarification,” said Japanese Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko.“I don’t think exports of steel and aluminum from Japan, which is a U.S. ally, damages U.S. national security in any way, and we would like to explain that to the U.S.”

India also raised concerns about the use of the national security interests provisions.

Trump believes the tariffs will safeguard American jobs but many economists say the impact of price increases for consumers of steel and aluminum, such as the auto and oil industries, will be to destroy more jobs than they create.

Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp said the tariffs would substantially raise costs and therefore prices of cars and trucks sold in America.

News of the tariffs hit sentiment on Wall Street due to the potential impact of higher costs on consumers and the potential for damaging tit-for-tat retaliation by affected countries.

Asian steelmakers suffered with shares in South Korea’s POSCO and Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp down by more than 3 percent.


How to cope with this situation in global trade after Trump’s plan? All steel and aluminum suppliers should work together to fight and find more suitable purchasers like 6C Buyers on egtcp.com. Fortune favors the fighter!
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