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ECONOMY > Trade

U.S. import restrictions to have minimal impact on aluminum industry

  • April 2, 2018
  • , Sankei , p. 3
  • JMH Translation

The import restrictions invoked by the U.S. cover not only steel but also aluminum products. However, aluminum exports to the U.S. total only about 30,000 tons annually, or less than 2% of steel products. Furthermore, while 25% additional tariff will be slapped on steel, that for aluminum products is a relatively low 10%. It is widely believed that the impact on aluminum will be much less than that on steel.

 

Japan Aluminum Association Chairman Mitsuru Okada strongly criticized the Trump administration at a news conference on March 29. He said: “I am astounded that the restrictions were actually implemented. This is in violation of international rules and a very serious matter.”

 

The production volume of Japanese rolled aluminum products in FY17 is expected to be around 2 million tons. Only about 30,000 tons, or 1.5%, were exported to the U.S. Furthermore, Japanese exports “mostly consisted of materials used for car exterior and other high-end products, the procurement of which is difficult to replace,” according to Okada. Like steel products, since Japanese aluminum products are irreplaceable, no sharp decline in exports from Japan is expected.

 

However, concerns remain that if foreign products are excluded, resulting in the deterioration of market conditions, the business operations of Japanese companies may still be affected. Okada pointed out that, “There are concerns about the impact of this on the world economy, including in terms of fluctuation of prices.”

 

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