First it was cheap steel imports from China that bothered India’s steel companies, now just-as-cheap imports from Japan and South Korea, two nations with whom India has a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), are causing the same type of consternation.
Earlier this month, as reported by MetalMiner, the Indian government imposed five-year anti-dumping duties ranging between $180 and $316 per metric ton for some industrial-grades of stainless steel imported from China, Malaysia and South Korea. The duty was obviously an attempt to try to halt surging steel imports.
The Heavy Industries Minister in the Indian government has said there could be moves afoot to further raise tariffs on imported steel. The Minister said he would be taking the matter up with the Finance Ministry soon.
Meanwhile, Back in the USA…
While India grapples with its own skewed steel supply and demand issues, back in the US, some Indian steel companies find themselves on the receiving end of upcoming tariffs. A few weeks ago, the Commerce Dept. initiated investigations to determine whether to impose anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) on import of corrosion-resistant steel products from India, China, Italy, Korea and Taiwan.
Not many players in India’s steel segment want to comment on the US development, blaming the economic slowdown almost everywhere around the world for the low prices.
Free Trade Agreements Making it Easier to Dump Steel?
But when to comes to protecting their own market, local steel firms are almost united in the belief that even if the Indian government was to increase import tariffs, it would not stop countries such as Japan and South Korea who have FTAs with India.
One of these players willing to go on record was Sajjan Jindal, Chairman of JSW Steel Ltd., who felt that both Japan and South Korea paid almost no duty when they sold steel in India.
He told news agency Reuters that almost 50% of steel coming into India was from the FTA countries and that almost all steel players felt the government would not really step up to the plate to impose additional import duties after it did so in June.