New Delhi: India’s steel export to the US in 2018 declined by 49 per cent to USD 372 million, while that of aluminium increased by 58 per cent to USD 221 million, the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its latest report.
In 2018, the US imports of steel and aluminium products totalled USD 29.5 billion and USD 17.6 billion respectively, the report said adding that over the past decade steel imports have fluctuated significantly by value and quantity, while imports of aluminium have generally increased.
‘The largest declines in US steel imports, by value, were from South Korea (-USD 430 million, -15 per cent), Turkey (-USD 413 million, -35 per cent) and India (-USD 372 million, -49 per cent) with significant increases from the EU (+USD 567 million, +22per cent), Mexico (+USD 508 million, +20 per cent) and Canada (+USD 404 million, +19 per cent),” the report said.
However, the largest increases in aluminium imports were from the EU (+USD 395 million, nine per cent), India (+USD 221 million, 58 per cent) and Oman (USD 186 million, +200 per cent), the report added.
The countries with permanent exclusions from the tariffs (all except Australia are instead subject to quotas) accounted for 18.4 per cent of US steel imports in 2018 and 4.4 per cent of US aluminium imports. Last year President Donald Trump used Section 232 to apply new tariffs to steel and aluminium imports and potentially on automobile and auto parts and other sectors currently under investigation.
Global overcapacity in steel and aluminium production, mainly driven by China, has been an ongoing concern of the US, the report said adding that the George W Bush, Obama and Trump Administrations each engaged in multilateral discussions to address global steel capacity reduction through the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
While the US has extensive anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese steel imports to counter China’s unfair trade practices, steel industry and other experts argue that the magnitude of Chinese production acts to depress prices globally, it added. Effective March 23, 2018, Trump applied 25 per cent and 10 per cent tariffs, respectively, on certain steel and aluminium imports.