- President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the US would impose new tariffs on imports on steel.
- The tariff will affect some countries more than others.
- Canada will get hit hardest, since it makes up 16% of the US steel import market.
- Brazil and South Korea are close behind.
President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the US would impose new tariffs on imports on steel and aluminium once a formal order is signed next week.
The move will make it more expensive for foreign producers to send steel to the US, as part of a bid to boost domestic US steel production.
Not every country will be hit equally by the moves, as some nations represent a larger share of the US steel import market than others.
Based on data from the US International Trade Administration from January through September 2017, the most recent available, Canada leads the pack with the largest percentage of US imported steel at 16%. Brazil and South Korea were the only two other countries to crack 10% of the import share, with Mexico and Russia coming in at 9% each.
Notably, China – one of the biggest targets of Trump’s disdain on trade policy – does not crack the top 10. According to the USITA, China is the 11th largest source of steel for the US.
Many countries have already promised to retaliate if and when Trump follows through on the tariffs, including Canada and the European Union. Trump did not specify if certain allied countries would be excluded from the new tariffs.
While the US is the world’s largest steel importer, the amount of steel produced in the US during the first nine months of 2017 far outweighed the amount brought to the country. According to the data, US steel producers generated 61.5 million metric tons of steel from January to September 2017 compared to 26.9 million metric tons being imported.
The percentage of steel consumed in the US produced overseas peaked in 2014 at 34.4%, through September 2017 imports made up 33.3% of consumption needs. Total US steel consumption has also been declining since 2014, when it hit 117 metric tons.
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