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Japan's JFE: No major impact from U.S. duties on steel, but fears of 'Trump risk'

Reuters  |  TOKYO 

By Yuka Obayashi

TOKYO (Reuters) - Holdings Inc, parent of Japan's No. 2 steelmaker, has seen no major impact on its exports so far from new U.S. import duties on steel, but still sees U.S. trade policy as the biggest risk for the Japanese economy, its said.

"The biggest risk for the Japanese economy is 'Trump risk'," told a conference on Tuesday.

The administration of U.S. imposed the higher import duties of 25 percent on in March, mainly aimed at curbing imports from

"His trade policy gives little direct impact on but we see a risk of potential retaliation with protectionism by or other countries possibly slowing the global economy," Hayashida said.

Japanese steelmakers have said previously they expected little impact on exports from the U.S. tax as they mainly supply specialised products, although Japan's exports to the U.S. market fell 38 percent in March from a year earlier, according to the and Federation.

"Some semi-finished products from may have been replaced by the products from the countries exempted from the U.S. duties, such as Brazil," Hayashida said.

"But we continue to receive orders for high-end products as the U.S. customers can't find alternatives."

He expected clients to complain about the higher import prices and press for item exemptions.

The announced early this month that Trump had extended a temporary reprieve from the tariffs for the EU, and until June 1, and had agreed permanent exemptions for Argentina, and

Hayashida also reiterated the company's interest in India, where it's partner has joined a group biding for bankrupt steelmaker Steel owns a 15 percent stake in JSW.

Asked if JFE would consider providing for the deal or look at taking a direct stake in if JSW succeeded in it bid, Hayashida said: "If JSW becomes a buyer of Essar, we may have to consider doing something, but it's too early to comment on any concrete measure.

"is very attractive as a production base and as a market. We have a great interest in India," he added.

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by and Richard Pullin)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 12:10 IST