Trump’s Measures on USA Steel & Aluminium Imports Could Impact South Africa
SECTION 232 INVESTIGATION BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (U.S.) ON STEEL AND ALUMINIUM PRODUCTS
President Donald Trump held a listening session with representatives from large steel and aluminium companies on Thursday, 01 March 2018. The listening session was meant for President Trump to hear first-hand about the concerns of U.S. companies relating to imports of steel and aluminium. During the question and answer session, the President announced that he decided to impose a global tariff of 25% on imports of steel and of 10% on imports of aluminium. The duties will be applicable to all importers into the U.S. market. The White House or the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and Commerce Department are yet to release an official statement on the duties or how the duties would be implemented.
South Africa’s exports to the U.S. on steel amounted to US$950 million in 2017 and accounted for 1.4% of U.S.’s global imports. In the case of aluminium, the SA exports were US$375 million in 2017, accounting for 1.6% of U.S. imports from all global suppliers. It is clear that South African exports do not impose a threat to U.S. industry and jobs. The SA exports are in some cases used as inputs into further processes in the US manufacturing sector thus contributing to U.S. jobs and production.
The Department of Trade and Industry is fully engaged with the matter and has undertaken discussions with the U.S. in a number of forums. In addition, the dti is meeting with South African companies with export interests in the U.S. to ascertain the possible impact of the proposed measures on these companies. the dti is also assessing the compatibility of the proposed measures with the rules of the World Trade Organisation.
In addition South Africa, through the dti, is a member of both the OECD and G20 steel committees and will be represented at senior management level at the meetings of these multi-lateral institutions when these meet next week. The proposed US steel trade measures will be discussed at these meetings.
the dti will issue a further media brief as soon as further information can be provided.
Sidwell Medupe -Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
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