One has to envy the amount of pull U.S. steel workers have. The majority of U.S.-China trade agitation is caused by this one relatively tiny part of the U.S. economy.
The United States on Wednesday imposed preliminary duties ranging from 11 to 13 per cent on steel pipe from China to offset government subsidies, the Commerce Department said.
The decision puts further strain on US-China trade relations, already tested by disputes over other US trade actions and China’s currency policy.
It is a victory for US Steel Corp and the United Steelworkers union, which filed a petition in October asking for protection against the Chinese imports.
China’s steel industry is undoubtedly supported in various manners, and as a result the country is threatened by massive steel overcapacity. But at the same time, maybe some Americans would be happy to have stupidly cheap steel in the future. Nevertheless, expect calls for steel tariffs to intensify as the China steel glut unravels which we feel is likely even in a China soft-landing scenario. U.S. steel will likely be slammed even with government support, so this tariff game is probably causing more harm than help.
Here’s a little reminder about the state of things: