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Steelmakers Push for Higher Import Tariffs

Steelmakers Push for Higher Import TariffsSteelmakers Push for Higher Import Tariffs

Following the unprecedented stagnation in the domestic steel market during the past year, which put many steel manufacturing plants on the verge of closing, several major steelmakers now have raised the alarms, demanding the administration to raise tariffs for imported steel, reported Fooladnews on Tuesday.

The demand was made during a meeting attended by the country’s key players in steel sector including the officials in Iran Steel Producers Association and the managers of Khuzestan, Mobarakeh, Esfahan, and Khorasan steel companies.

The steel manufacturers, who have been hit since two years ago by economic downturn in the housing sector, have so far held a number of meetings with the officials at the ministry of industry, mine, and trade.

During the meetings, proposals have been discussed regarding raising the tariffs for imports. However, no specific figure for the tariffs has been agreed upon yet. The domestic steel manufacturers propose import tariffs of 25% for different types of girders, 35% for bundles of rebar, and up to 15% for billets and ingots.  

A reduction in global steel prices and China’s huge depot of steel products could, in the near future, fill Iran’s market with Chinese steel. In a stagnation-hit market, such a thing would bring even more misery for domestic steelmakers.

Iranian steel manufacturers believe that steel prices are currently at worrying levels and the rolling manufacturers, in particular, are threatened by the possible consequences.

The manufacturers say when the prices soar they are regularly monitored by supervising bodies for the prices. They now expect the government not to leave them alone and play a more supportive role for the steel industry.

Many countries, such as the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), take anti-dumping measures and levy fines in addition to anti-dumping duties. The tension between China and steelmakers across the world has grown in the past several years.

The US, in 2010, levied big anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese tubular steel goods, which virtually halted the imports from China in that category. Also in July this year, the US government announced substantial punitive tariffs on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of steel products imported from South Korea and eight other countries. Turkey, another member of the WTO and one of the leading countries in exporting reinforcing bars (rebar), also imposed tariffs on Chinese steel products in order to support its steel industry against Chinese dumping policy.

Financialtribune.com