The US government has imposed an additional 10pc and 25pc duties on imports of derivative aluminium and steel articles, respectively. These revised import duty rates are applicable from Feb 8, 2020, according to a proclamation by the US president Donald Trump.
An additional 10pc import duty is applicable on aluminium articles from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Canada and Mexico. The additional 25pc import duty is applicable to imports of derivative steel articles from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea.
US authorities have levied these duties subsequent to an investigation by the Secretary of Commerce, which found that the US’ steel capacity utilization rate could not be stabilised above 80pc and the capacity utilization in the aluminium industry was below targets. Stabilization of capacity utilization is essential for the profitability of domestic producers and to justify investment to ramp production.
In June 2018- May 2019 period, the imports of steel nails, tacks, drawing pins, corrugated nails, staples, and similar derivative articles rose by 33pc. In Jan-Nov 2019, these imports increased by 23pc from the Jan-Nov 2017 period. Imports of aluminium stranded wire, cables, plaited bands and other similar derivatives in June 2018- May 2019 increased by 152pc from June 2017-May 2018. In Jan-Nov 2019, imports of these aluminium articles rose by 127pc from Jan-Nov 2017.
Increased import of these derivatives eroded US producers’ customer base, according to the commerce secretary.