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US tariff hike on steel no immediate threat to Indian players, says govt

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The steel ministry said today that India's steel exports to America are very low and hence the import tariff hike by the US will not pose any immediate threat to the domestic industry.

It said however that tariff lines being worked on by the EU are a matter of concern and India has objection to some points under consideration.

"Our capacity last year was 124 million tonnes. Our production was 102 million tonnes. Our export was 10 million tonnes. So these are the figures," Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said.

"To US in absolute numbers it is less than 0.9 million tonnes. So in the sense under that kind of scenario there is definitely no immediate threat," she told reproters here.

The US has imposed 25 per cent import tariff on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium.

"The team led by Commerce Ministry is already in dialogue with them (US adminstration)... As far as steel is concerned we are exporting only two per cent... So it does not make much difference to us immediately," Sharma said.

She was speaking on the sidelines of mining summit organised here by industry body Assocham.

India, she said, will definitely protect its own interest and the commerce ministry will be the front face for the whole thing.

When asked whether other countries could dump their excess production of steel in India in view of US tariff hike, Sharma said: "It hasn't happened now...We are alert and definitely if need be necessary steps will be taken."

Fearing an adverse impact of the US tariff hike on steel, the European Union (EU) has initiated a safeguard probe into certain steel products to assess the effect of increased imports following the Trump administration step.

When asked about EU starting safeguard probe into certain steel products, Sharma said, "EU is thinking of tariff lines so that is a concern because we export nearly six per cent to EU...Therefore it is very very important for us."

She added: "So, we are watching. Their safeguards will be appearing in mid-September and let's see how it proceeds. What we are talking today is again a three year principle which we have objected to, of taking an average of three years.

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

First Published: Fri, July 20 2018. 16:35 IST