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Indian Steel Association call US tariffs 'unwarranted, inappropriate'

Singapore — Indian steelmakers have expressed concern over the US decision to impose 25% tariffs on all steel imports, with the Indian Steel Association on Wednesday calling it "unwarranted" and "inappropriate."

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"Clubbing a steel non-mature country like India with other steel surplus countries is not appropriate," ISA secretary general Dr.Bhaskar Chatterjee said in a statement.

The US has already placed a total of 16 trade remedies against Indian steel including hot rolled products, cold rolled products, cut-to-length plates and corrosion-resistant steel, making it nearly impossible to export to the US, the ISA statement said.

In 2017, overall US steel imports from India more than doubled to 743,020 mt, according to data published by US Department of Commerce.

However, tariff restrictions will affect Indian pipe manufacturers' ability to participate in tenders to supply to the US oil and gas industry, sources said.

"We were hoping to secure a couple of orders this year, but those orders are now in doubt," an official at Mumbai-based MAN Industries said.

However, it would be inappropriate to estimate the impact of any such tariff announcements before the DOC issues a detailed notification on the respective tariffs, a senior official with Jindal SAW Limited said.

Sources also expressed concern that the tariffs would likely create over-supply in international markets.

"Imposition of steep tariffs on imports of steel will inevitably encourage steel-surplus nations to divert their exports to vibrant consumption centers like India and distort our markets considerably," the ISA statement said.

--Charlotte Rao, charlotte.rao@spglobal.com
--Edited by Jonathan Fox, jonathan.fox@spglobal.com