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U.S. Imposes Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum, Attacking Global Multilateral Trading System

Source:Iris Liang Time:2018-6-4 9:35:46

The United States announced that it will impose high tariffs on the steel and aluminum products of the European Union, Canada, and Mexico since June 1. This has caused strong criticism from relevant international agencies and countries. It warned that this measure of the United States may not only affect multi-party trade interests but also threaten to rule. Based on the stability of the multilateral trading system. Although facing such difficult situation, Seko Machinery will still offer our high efficiency coil pipe macking machinery to clients.
Juncker, chairman of the European Commission, said that the United States unilaterally adopted tariff measures is unfair, and is inconsistent with the rules of the World Trade Organization. It is "pure protectionism" and totally unacceptable. In a statement, the European Union stated that the EU decided to relocate the U.S. move to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism on June 1. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the European Union, based in Brussels, said in a statement that U.S. companies in Europe oppose the U.S. government’s decision to levy tariffs on steel and aluminum in the EU and urge the government to review the decision.

European Parliament President Tayani said: "The history of international trade tells us that protectionism is a zero-sum game that is not suitable for anyone and will only trigger a trade war that is harmful to everyone." EU Trade Commissioner Malmst Lun said that the EU will impose tariffs on some U.S. products, and the tax rate level will be determined based on the degree of damage caused by U.S. restrictions on EU products.

On May 18, the European Union notified the WTO of a list of products intended to impose tariffs on imported U.S. goods worth a total value of approximately 6.4 billion euros, up to a maximum of 25%.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on May 31 that Germany and other EU countries agreed that the U.S. move would violate the rules of the WTO and the EU will make a firm and common response. On the same day, French Minister of Economy and Finance Lemer said that he has indicated to the United States that the taxation of steel and aluminum products in the EU is "irrational and dangerous" and the EU will respond with "all necessary measures".

At the same time, the Canadian government announced on May 31 that it will impose retaliatory tariffs on imports of US$ 16.6 billion (US$ 12.8 billion) worth of U.S. goods, which will take effect on July 1. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau said that the United States imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum “completely unacceptable” and this will become a turning point in Canadian-U.S. relations.
All walks of life in Mexico have also expressed strong opposition to the US steel and aluminum tariff measures. The Mexican Ministry of Economy has announced that it will adopt corresponding reciprocal measures for some US products. The Minister of Economy of Mexico Guadaldo said on May 31 that the decision of the United States to impose high tariffs on steel and aluminum products will have an adverse effect on the ongoing negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement and cause damage to related U.S. industries.

Increased tariffs on steel and aluminum have increased the risk of trade war

According to statistics, the EU, Canada and Mexico exported a total of US$23 billion worth of steel and aluminum products to the United States in 2017, accounting for more than half of the total value of steel and aluminum imports of the United States last year. The industry generally believes that the United States announced that the addition of tariffs on steel and aluminum will trigger a huge shock in the steel and aluminum industry.

The EU is now the largest exporter of steel products in the United States and the fifth largest exporter of aluminum products. The steel industry has 320,000 employees in Europe, more than 500 production bases, and annual production of 170 million tons, which is one of the pillar industries of the EU. After the United States introduced steel and aluminum tariffs, it is expected to affect exports of the EU steel industry at 5.3 billion euros and aluminum industry at 1.1 billion euros. Gareth Stace, president of the British Steel Industry Association, said that this will trigger a destructive trade war. Susan Dang, chief executive of the American Chamber of Commerce in the European Union, said: "We are very worried about the damage that the two sides have made to the transatlantic relationship, as well as the adverse effects on employment, investment and security."

Some analysts pointed out that what European companies really worry about is not only the impact on steel exports, but also the various chain reactions that result: The unmarketable steel products that cannot be sold to the United States will be heavily stockpiled in the European market, and the European steel industry is feared to be destroyed. , Steel prices may fall by 40%, and then further spread to other industries such as the automotive industry.

According to data from the Canadian Steel Producers Association, Canada exports about 45% of the country’s total steel output to the United States. The United States steel and aluminum tariffs will have a negative impact on Canadian steel and other industries.
The National Steel Industry Association of Mexico stated that the US steel and aluminum tariff measures will impact the Mexican steel industry's annual export volume of US$2 billion to the United States. The association pointed out that 76% of steel products in the United States are exported to Mexico and Canada. The United States has a surplus of US$3.6 billion in Mexico in the steel trade field. If Mexico takes retaliatory measures, US steel companies will also be greatly affected. According to Delacruz, Chairman of the Economic Research Committee of the Federation of Mexican Chambers of Industry and Commerce, the United States' “tariff” on the basis of “national security” levies high tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum products, and the economic burden that it brings will eventually be passed on to the United States. On the body.

Public opinion analysis pointed out that the US steel and aluminum tariff measures may trigger other countries to take more retaliatory actions and increase the risk of triggering a trade war. The protectionist behavior of the United States puts the global trading system at risk.

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Iris Liang
SEKO Machinery & Technology Co., Ltd
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