Indian Steel Association has raised concerns that the US move to raise import tariffs will encourage surplus nations to divert their steel exports to consuming nations like India affecting the local markets.
ISA represents major public and private sector steel players in the country.
US President Donald Trump said on March 1 that he would impose 25 per cent import tariff on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium to protect US producers.
The apex industry body has raised concerns that imposition of steep tariffs on import by the US will adversely affect the domestic steel industry.
“Tariffs by the US will inevitably encourage steel-surplus nations to divert their exports to vibrant consumption centres like India and distort our domestic markets considerably,” ISA said.
Its Secretary General Bhaskar Chatterjee said clubbing India with other steel surplus countries is “not appropriate”. Inclusion of India among several others is not desirable as a policy. This adversely dents the growth prospects of a developing country like India whose production and consumption is inward-looking.
He further said that despite being the third largest producer of steel in world, with 12 per cent share of global non-Chinese production, India has only a 2.7 per cent share in US imports.
“A total of 16 trade remedies are already in place in the US against Indian steel companies, which include 10 anti-dumping duties and 6 countervailing duties. This includes a variety of steel products such as corrosion-resistant steel, cold-rolled steel flat products, certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products…,” he said.
It is understandable that steel is an important material used for manufacturing military’s combat vehicles, a country would like protect its industry from the threat to national security, Chatterjee said.
“However, Indian steel companies exporting to the US have always done so legitimately in line with global trade regulations and WTO framework. It is for a reason that in December 2016, the US bestowed the privileged status of ‘Major Defence Partner’ on India, which is a position unique to India,” he added.