US tariffs: the implications for stainless

According to a White House announcement, tariffs ranging up to 15% will be imposed over a three-year period on imports of stainless steel bar, stainless steel wire rod and stainless steel wire. Specific tariffs and timelines are: Stainless Steel Bar, three-year tariff (15% 1st year,
12% 2nd year, 9% 3rd Year); Stainless Steel Wire Rod, three-year tariff (15% 1st year, 12% 2nd year, 9% – 3rd year); stainless steel wire, three-year tariff (8% 1st year, 7% 2nd year, 6% 3rd year). These duties are in addition to existing tariffs in the form of antidumping and countervailing duties. (Existing tariffs were the result of previous trade cases on stainless steel bar and wire rod.)
The latest industry data show that while imports decreased in 2001 compared to 2000, US import penetration increased for three of the four named products. Last year, import penetration ranged between 46% for stainless steel bar to about 80% or more for stainless steel rod and alloy tool steel. Stainless steel wire rod imports captured 79% of the US market in 2001, a 4% increase. Stainless steel wire import penetration increased 14% to 51% in 2001 from 37% in 2000.
In contrast to recommendations by three International Trade Commissioners, President Bush has decided against any kind of import relief for alloy tool steel.

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