South Africa’s DTI says its steel, aluminium imports not a threat to the US

TrumpSouth Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) argued in a statement that the country’s steel and aluminium exports to the US did not pose a threat to national security or domestic industry after it was denied an exemption from import tariffs

Last month, Trump signed a proclamation imposing a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium and 25 per cent tariff on steel imports in an escalation of his protectionist rhetoric.

Trump, on his campaign trail, promised to tackle the country’s ballooning trade deficit through import tariffs and other trade barriers.

“Trade wars are good, and easy to win,” he tweeted, causing a global market sell-off.

The principal targets of the 45th President of the United States have been China and the NAFTA agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Trump has also often said that trade deals have come at great cost to the domestic manufacturing industry, causing large-scale job losses.

South Africa’s exports of steel and aluminium products to the US, however, are much smaller in volume and value compared with Canada, Brazil and South Korea among others.

“South Africa is concerned by the unfairness of the measures and that it is one of the countries that are singled out as a contributor to US national security concerns when its exports of aluminium and steel products are not that significant,” the DTI statement said.

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