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International Trade Update

Although the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA – successor to NAFTA) was signed by the three countries’ leaders in December, the “Section 232” tariffs imposed by the U.S. Administration on steel product imports from Canada and Mexico remain in place. The agreement now requires legislative approval by all three nations, but otherwise, ISRI is uncertain if/how the governments will negotiate the removal of the tariffs. Additionally, the U.S. Administration will soon launch trade agreement negotiations with Japan, UK, and European Union – the EU is especially pushing for the elimination of these tariffs as part of the negotiations. Finally, President Trump has directed his Administration to study whether or not to impose Section 232 tariffs on auto imports. It is uncertain if the tariffs will be imposed.

China announced its intent to add six aluminum scrap products to its “catalogue of restricted items,” essentially requiring that importers hold an import license in order to import ferrous scrap. These licenses will dictate the allowable quotas, which is a measure the Chinese government uses to decrease imports.

ISRI has received reports from members about challenges importing ferrous scrap into Vietnam. Apparently the BOF primary producers are appealing directly to the Prime Minister to categorize ferrous scrap as waste, thereby restricting imports (and leading several EAFs to shutter). ISRI has had difficulty getting in touch with the Vietnamese embassy to discuss this issue and welcomes support from members with a presence in the region.

Planning is underway for an ISRI trade mission to Indonesia and Malaysia in November. A member survey shows participation interest mainly from metal processors. Companies interested in participating can notify staff, but registration will open in May on a first come first serve basis.

For more information, please contact Adina Adler

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