Trump administration hits 18 countries with aluminum tariffs

AFP , Friday 9 Oct 2020

Egypt, Brazil, Croatia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey were also affected

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Cecil Airport, in Jacksonville, Florida, September 24, 2020. AFP

The United States on Friday imposed steep new tariffs on nearly $2 billion in aluminum from 18 countries the Commerce Department accuses of dumping into the American market, including Germany, Spain and Brazil.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said China was not on the list but is partially responsible for the flood of aluminum sheet imports that could undermine domestic producers.

"What's really been happening, actually, is Chinese excess capacity has been dumped into other markets. That, in turn, displaces production which gets dumped here," Ross said on Fox Business Network.

"It's a very complicated setup but the net effect is a lot of dumping in the US, and that's what we're clamping down on."

Germany and Brazil face the steepest tariffs of close to 353 percent and 137 percent, respectively. The US imported nearly $287 million of the product from Germany last year, and $97 million from Brazil.

The preliminary decision means the US will immediately begin collecting the tariffs from importers to compensate for the price of aluminum sheeting sold below the cost of production, or helped by unfair subsidies, according to a Commerce Department statement.

The department could overturn the decision in late February, which is also subject to review by the US International Trade Commission. Their final decision is scheduled for April 5, 2021.

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