Like the US, India too need to impose duties on import of steel, according to steel magnate Sajjan Jindal.
In a series of tweets, Jindal said that the steel industry is a very strategically important industry for a developing nation like India
“It is important for our policy makers to understand what countries like China,Korea and Japan are doing. Japan’s steel consumption is about 60 MTPA. They produce 110-120. They export about 50% of their produce. But they never buy anything imported,” he further added.
In another tweet, Jindal said that China has a surplus production of about 15%,which they use to disrupt the steel industry world over by dumping cheap quality steel. “What @POTUS has done is something our policy makers should replicate. Infact Steel should be excluded from all FTAs.”
@POTUS is the official twitter handle of the President of the United States.
Jindal had sent out a series of tweets asking the Indian government to replicate the US in imposing duties on steel imports.
Donald Trump announced last week his decision to impose 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% tariff on imported aluminium into the US. Even though a formal order is yet to be signed, countries that export to UK are fuming over the announcement.
With only a 2% of total steel exports to the US, India does not have much cause to worry over the tariff which will be more detrimental to China and Europe. However, the duties are likely to pose some problems in the long run for Indian steel companies that have been focusing on exports to expand their market base to beat sluggish demand at home.
JSW Steel achieved its highest ever export sales of 3.80 million tonnes in 2016-17, an increase of 153% over the previous year.
According to a report by the Joint plant Committee, India’s imports of finished steel fell by 36% to 7.4 million tonnes in 2016-17 while exports jumped 102% to 8.2 MT. By December, 2017, imports fell to 6.8 MT. China, South Korea and Japan are the three largest exporters of steel to India.
Aluminium imports on the other hand touched 1.8 milion tonnes in 2016-17, up by 5% from the previous year.
The government of India had notified in February, 2016 that it had imposed Minimum Import Price (MIP) on steel ranging from $341 to $752 per tonne on 173 steel products. MIP is a measure to protect domestic steel producers by way of imposing a minimum price that importers have to pay while buying steel from abroad. However, MIP can be gradually phased out as and when the situation seems conducive.
Later in 2016, it had also extended safeguard duty on steel imports until March 2018 to protect the domestic steel industry from cheap imports from China. Starting from 20% till September, 2016, it said the duty will be brought down to 10% by March, 2018.