SOUTH AFRICA DISAPPOINTED AT US DECISION ON STEEL, ALUMINIUM TARIIFF

PRETORIA– South Africa has expressed disappointment at not being granted exemption from the United States Section 232 steel and aluminium tariff duties.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump signed proclamations granting permanent country-exemptions to a select number of countries and extended by one month the Section 232 steel and aluminium tariff duty exemptions for some.

South Africa is disappointed that it was not granted an exemption from the duties, the Department of Trade and Industry said here Tuesday.

Monday’s proclamation followed the 8 March proclamation signed by President Trump to impose a 10 per cent ad valorem tariff on imports of aluminium articles and a 25 per cent ad valorem tariff on imports of steel articles. These excluded select countrie,s including Canada, Mexico, the European Union, South Korea, Australia, Argentina and Brazil.

The proclamation followed reports from the Secretary of Commerce that imports of these products threaten to impair US national security.

South Africa, through Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, made representations to the US, including two written submissions. In addition, South African Ambassador to the US Mninwa Mahlangu also engaged with the White House National Security Council staff, State Department, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and Commerce Department.

Davies also had teleconferences with Ambassador CJ Mahoney, the Deputy USTR for Investment, Services, Labour, Environment, Africa, China and the Western Hemisphere on March 22, 2018 and again on April 30, 2018. In the submissions, South Africa argued that it itself is grappling with the consequences of the global steel glut and that it has stringent Customs control measures and that there is no risk of circumvention or transhipment of steel from third countries.

South Africa further emphasised that its exports of aluminium products per annum are equivalent to about 1.6% of total US aluminium imports. According to the US Census Bureau data, in 2017 the US imported a total of 33.4 million tons of steel, of which imports from South Africa were approximately 330,000 tons or 0.98 per cent of total US imports and 0.3 per cent of total US steel demand of 107 million tons.

The 330,000 tons exported from South Africa represents 5.0 per cent of South Africa’s production. As such, South Africa does not pose a threat to US national security and to the US steel and aluminium industries but is a source of strategic primary and secondary products used in further value added manufacturing in the US contributing to jobs in both countries. However, due to these measures, South Africa will be disproportionately affected both in terms of jobs and productive capacity.

The country also offered to restrict exports to a quota based on 2017 exports level. However, despite these assurances, the United States has decided not to exempt South Africa from the duties. It is important to note that some of the exempted countries are the biggest exporters of steel and aluminium to the United States, said the Trade and Industry Department.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

SOUTH AFRICA DISAPPOINTED AT US DECISION ON STEEL, ALUMINIUM TARIIFF

PRETORIA– South Africa has expressed disappointment at not being granted exemption from the United States Section 232 steel and aluminium tariff duties.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump signed proclamations granting permanent country-exemptions to a select number of countries and extended by one month the Section 232 steel and aluminium tariff duty exemptions for some.

South Africa is disappointed that it was not granted an exemption from the duties, the Department of Trade and Industry said here Tuesday.

Monday’s proclamation followed the 8 March proclamation signed by President Trump to impose a 10 per cent ad valorem tariff on imports of aluminium articles and a 25 per cent ad valorem tariff on imports of steel articles. These excluded select countrie,s including Canada, Mexico, the European Union, South Korea, Australia, Argentina and Brazil.

The proclamation followed reports from the Secretary of Commerce that imports of these products threaten to impair US national security.

South Africa, through Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, made representations to the US, including two written submissions. In addition, South African Ambassador to the US Mninwa Mahlangu also engaged with the White House National Security Council staff, State Department, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and Commerce Department.

Davies also had teleconferences with Ambassador CJ Mahoney, the Deputy USTR for Investment, Services, Labour, Environment, Africa, China and the Western Hemisphere on March 22, 2018 and again on April 30, 2018. In the submissions, South Africa argued that it itself is grappling with the consequences of the global steel glut and that it has stringent Customs control measures and that there is no risk of circumvention or transhipment of steel from third countries.

South Africa further emphasised that its exports of aluminium products per annum are equivalent to about 1.6% of total US aluminium imports. According to the US Census Bureau data, in 2017 the US imported a total of 33.4 million tons of steel, of which imports from South Africa were approximately 330,000 tons or 0.98 per cent of total US imports and 0.3 per cent of total US steel demand of 107 million tons.

The 330,000 tons exported from South Africa represents 5.0 per cent of South Africa’s production. As such, South Africa does not pose a threat to US national security and to the US steel and aluminium industries but is a source of strategic primary and secondary products used in further value added manufacturing in the US contributing to jobs in both countries. However, due to these measures, South Africa will be disproportionately affected both in terms of jobs and productive capacity.

The country also offered to restrict exports to a quota based on 2017 exports level. However, despite these assurances, the United States has decided not to exempt South Africa from the duties. It is important to note that some of the exempted countries are the biggest exporters of steel and aluminium to the United States, said the Trade and Industry Department.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK