Ostrava, North Moravia, June 1 (CTK) – Domestic steel makers will feel the impact of the US customs duties on steel and aluminium in several months, most likely only next year because US buyers will first have to find a replacement for the supplies from Europe, according to stances of steel makers for CTK.
“In the first stage [probably until the end of this year], part of our production exported to the USA will not be endangered because US firms have no fast replacement for our product and will buy it for a price raised by the 25 percent customs duty,” said Trinecke Zelezarny steelworks spokeswoman Petra Mackova Juraskova.
In a medium- to long-term horizon, however, the measure will influence the European market. “Europe can expect raising of imports of goods from the production of other countries which will be impossible to sell in the USA,” Mackova said.
The customs duties will harm the competitiveness of ArcelorMittal Ostrava (AMO) on the US market even when the amount of goods exported to the USA is not too high with respect to the company’s total production volume and makes up only several percent, the steel maker’s spokeswoman Barbora Cerna Dvorakova said.
“Nevertheless, the product has a high value added – seamless pipes used in the petrochemical industry for extraction of oil and natural gas. We export some 20 percent of their total production to the USA,” she said.
AMO is concerned as well that part of the goods designed for the US market will target Europe. “A huge surplus of steel would thus be in Europe. We therefore support the introduction of extraordinary measures, so called safeguards, which would prevent a sharp increase in imports from third countries to the EU,” said Cerna Dvorakova.
Steel Union executive director Daniel Urban said already on Thursday that the union backs the introduction of extraordinary measures at the European level to control the inflow of cheap steel from third countries.
The USA imposed customs duties at 25 percent on steel and at 10 percent on aluminium also on imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico as of today.
The USA introduced new customs duties on steel and aluminium on March 23 but the EU had an exception. It warned that if the customs duties are imposed on its steel and aluminium products, it will adopt retaliatory measures.