India steel gets more US trade access under Section 232

  • Market: Metals
  • 24/06/23

The US has agreed to grant market access to Indian steel and aluminium products under an exclusion process of its Section 232 tariffs, five years after additional duties were imposed.

The move will give market access to 70pc of steel and 80pc of aluminium products originating in India, India's commerce and industry ministry said on 23 June. It is unclear for now which steel or aluminium products will receive market access under the agreement.

The market access for Indian steel and aluminium products under Section 232's tariff exclusion process will come through after applications are filed to the US government by US importers on behalf of Indian exporters, the commerce ministry added.

"This market access will restore opportunities for Indian steel and aluminium exporters, which were restricted since 14 June 2018 because of the US 232 measure under which additional duties of 25pc and 10pc were levied on steel and aluminium products respectively," the commerce ministry said.

Then US president Donald Trump authorised the move to safeguard national security.

Indian steel exports to the US during the 2018-19 fiscal year ending 31 March declined by 35pc on the year, the commerce ministry said in 2019 without providing figures.

The move would provide significant impetus to raise Indian steel exports to the US by about 35pc, according to the commerce ministry, but Indian steel market participants are awaiting more details before getting their hopes up.

The relief comes following Indian prime minister Narendra Modi visit to the US this week, where both countries managed to resolve six World Trade Organization disputes. Three of these were filed by India against the US, relating to countervailing measures on certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from India (DS436), certain measures on steel and aluminium products (DS547) and certain measures to do with the renewable energy sector (DS510).

The US and India have taken steps towards deepening bilateral cooperation to strengthen their economic relationship, including trade ties, the White House said on 22 June, adding that the leaders of both countries welcomed their understanding on "market access related to certain products of significance to the bilateral trade relationship".

India has also agreed to remove the retaliatory tariffs it had imposed on certain US products but said that basic import duties on these products will continue. Basic import duties on Indian steel and aluminium products into the US will also remain in place.

India imposed retaliatory tariffs on imports of US products like phosphoric acid and some food products back in 2019. It is unclear which US products can be exempted from the tariffs.


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