Comment

Section 232 exemptions: Australia stands to gain significantly

Commenting on the likelihood that Australia will be exempt from Section 232 steel tariffs, Alex Griffiths, Wood Mackenzie Senior Research Analyst, said:

"It looks increasingly likely that Australia will be exempt from Section 232 tariffs on steel with both President Trump and Prime Minister Turnbull Tweeting to that effect.

"If Australia is indeed exempt, they stand to gain significantly. Australia is producing mid-priced steels for export to the US – steel products which could replace steel entering the US from Thailand, Vietnam and even South Korea. Australian producers have the potential to raise exports to the US and displace steel products originating from non-exempt Southeast Asian nations.

"By contrast, if the EU secures an exemption it would be more a case of business as usual – rather than a chance to gain export tonnages.

"The UK, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Romania and Belgium export high-value steels to the US. There are not many high-value steel products imported by the US that could be displaced by tariffs to the benefit of these EU producers.

"Like Australia, an exemption would be an opportunity for Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands to raise exports destined for the US. These countries send mid-priced steel to the US which could displace steel products originating from non-exempt Southeast Asian suppliers."

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