At a regular press conference held on Sept. 25, Japan Iron and Steel Federation Chairman Atsushi Kakigi (president of JFE Steel Corporation) called on the government to uphold the current multilateral trade mechanism in its trade talks with the U.S., which are scheduled to take place on the morning of Sept. 25 (on the evening of Sept. 25, Japan time). “I don’t want Japan to enter bilateral trade talks and Japan should maintain the stance that complies with international rules on free trade,” he said.
Kakigi referred to the example of South Korea, which was forced to curb its steel exports to the U.S. so as not to be subject to U.S. additional tariffs. “South Korean steelmakers are not in the happy situation,” he said.
With regards to Japan’s declining steel exports to the U.S., he emphasized: “Because domestic steel demand is solid, the Japanese steel industry does not have surplus supply capacity. I don’t think the reduction in Japan’s steel exports is a direct consequence (of additional tariffs the U.S. imposed in March).”