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80 pct of Japanese steel exports seen escaping Trump tariff

  • March 8, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 10:28 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, March 8 (Jiji Press) — Some 80 pct of Japanese steel exports to the United States in volume terms is seen escaping an additional 25 pct tariff introduced by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump last year, it was learned on Friday.

About 9,400 applications for Japanese steel products to be exempted from the additional tariff were submitted by U.S. companies to the Department of Commerce by late last month, according to a survey by the Japanese industry ministry, which collected related U.S. government data.

About 3,900, or some 40 pct, of the total, have so far been accepted, covering a total of 1.34 million tons of steel products, equal to some 80 pct of Japan’s steel exports to the United States in 2017.

More applications could be approved, as the U.S. department is yet to finish screenings, sources familiar with the matter said.

According to disclosed U.S. documents, exemption from the additional tariff has been granted to steel sheets, pipes and other products from Japanese makers including Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. <5401>, JFE Steel Corp. and Kobe Steel Ltd.

The Trump administration introduced the additional tariff under Section 232 of the U.S. trade expansion act in March 2018, citing possible national security threats.

The Japanese government has since been asking the U.S. side to exempt Japanese steel products from the tariff, claiming that Japanese products contribute greatly to the U.S. economy.

Over the U.S. tariff, Japan has neither filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization nor imposed a retaliatory tariff on U.S. goods.

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