Reference News, a well-known branch of Xinhua, recently reported that the United States said it had agreed to lift the import tariffs it had imposed on Japanese steel under the Trump administration. It was a further move after the United States reached a similar agreement with the European Union last October. This showed that the Biden administration is stepping up its efforts to strengthen economic ties with Asia-Pacific countries to counter China’s growing influence.The Biden administration officials told reporters that the deal would allow Japan to export up to 1.25 million tons of steel annually to the United States duty-free. This is similar to the level of exports in 2018 and 2019. Such arrangements will help reduce the cost for U.S. steel importers. At the same time, it will maintain tariffs that exceed the protocol levels of steel to prevent the imports from increasing. The American Iron and Steel Institute welcomed the government’s announcement. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the deal would “level the playing field against China.” However, the current 10 percent tariff on Japanese aluminum will remain in place, while the new tariffs cover less steel than the 1.8 million tons of steel the U.S. imported from Japan in 2017, according to U.S. Commerce Department statistics. The World Steel Association’s data shows that Japan and the United States are among the world’s top steel producers behind China, the European Union and India.
Source: Reference News, February 10, 2022