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Trade war: Action plan to analyse impact of US metal tariffs by weekend

Megha Manchanda/New Delhi 14 Mar 18 | 06:57 AM

The Union government has started working out an action plan to analyse the impact of the recently imposed US tariffs on steel and aluminium and on how to deal with it.

In the first meeting on this on Tuesday, senior officials of the department of commerce and the ministries of steel and mines met the industry leaders to assess the impact of the US tariffs on Indian industry. A senior official later said export details had been sought from industry players and a plan would be finalised by the end of the week.

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Commerce Secretary Rita Teotia, Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma and Mines Secretary Arun Kumar attended the meeting. They met industry representatives from Vedanta, JSW Steel, SAIL and other companies.

US President Donald Trump last week signed an order imposing a 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imported into the country from all nations except Canada, Mexico and Australia. The exemptions might be extended to friendly countries. The order will come into effect in the next 15 days.

In the first eight months of 2017-18, India exported iron and steel worth $230 million to the US, as against the $330 million in 2016-17. India exports bars, rods, wires, angles, shapes, and sections of stainless steel to the country. Apart from these, iron and non-alloy steel products form a quarter of the exports.

India’s aluminium exports to the US in 2016-17 was 49,000 tonnes, accounting for 2.1 per cent of the 2.34 million tonnes of aluminium exported. In April-October 2017, aluminium exports to the US grew by 352 per cent to 51,000 tonne, while its value increased by 445 per cent, year on year, to $180.3 million.

This increase can in part be attributed to the hike in domestic production of aluminium by 38 per cent, year on year, with improvement in operational efficiencies. Exports from India have grown by 27 per cent (785,000 tonnes) in the current fiscal year while domestic consumption (480,000 tonnes) has contracted by 25 per cent.

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