Feds Agree With U.S. Steel, Tariff OK’d On Chinese Imports

24 Jun Feds Agree With U.S. Steel, Tariff OK’d On Chinese Imports

Arcelor Mittal Steel Manufacturing Corporation.

Photo: Ken Lund (Wikimedia Commons)

The Commerce Department will be allowed to slap a tariff on Chinese steel imports.

A federal trade board has sided with the American steel industry this week, ruling that China harmed U.S. companies with unfair business practices. But U.S. steelmakers won’t get an all-out ban on Chinese imports.

The ruling is a victory for Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel, which asked the International Trade Commission to recommend a ban on Chinese steel earlier this year. It argued China hurt U.S. business by over-subsidizing its own producers and flooding the market with a cheap product.

But instead of a ban on Chinese steel, the Commerce Department will be allowed to slap a tariff of more than 500 percent on Chinese steel imports. That’s twice what it proposed in March, before the ITC investigation was finished.

Tim Slaper at the Indiana Business Research Center says a ban would have had “more teeth” for steelmakers in Northwest Indiana and elsewhere, though he notes that China isn’t their only competitor. Still, he says the tariff will work to reduce Chinese imports.

“So it would increase the market share, then, of domestic suppliers,” Slaper says.

In a statement, China’s commerce ministry says the new tariff would “only escalate tension and conflict” with the U.S.

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