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What's the impact on countries when the United States will impose high tariffs on steel and aluminum imports?
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What's the impact on countries when the United States will impose high tariffs on steel and aluminum imports?

Views: 12     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2018-09-07      Origin: Site

Historical Background

On March 1, 2018 Trump announced his intention to impose a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports.


The origin of steel products in the United States is mainly concentrated in four states:

Indiana contributed 27% of its crude steel output.

Ohio subsequently contributed 12% of its output.

Michigan and Pennsylvania produced 6% crude steel respectively.

The crude steel output of these four states has exceeded half of the total output of the United States. Among them, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, the three traditional Democrats to help Trump to take the presidency to stand on the sweat.

One of the reasons they voted for Trump was to hope that when Trump was elected he would use trade protections to protect their traditional industries, such as steel. Trump, in order to retain Republican advantage in the House of Representatives for re-election and in the 2018 mid-term elections, is bound to take protective measures to meet the needs of voters.


Why did the international community and financial markets react so much to the trade of steel and aluminum?

First of all, the United States is the world's largest importer of steel, according to global steel trade monitoring statistics, in 2016 the United States imported about 30 million tons of steel, accounting for 7% of the world's total steel trade, far exceeding the second and third largest imports of Germany and South Korea. So although the United States is not the main producer in the steel market, but it plays an important role in the international steel market.

Second, the United States imports steel from more than 110 countries, mainly from Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Taiwan, Germany and India, all over the world.

Third, in the name of "national security", the U.S. Department of Commerce has taken protective measures against the import of steel and aluminum. It is open to all or major importing countries. It is not like "anti-dumping and anti-subsidy" that it is generally aimed at a special product and a special country, nor does it need to find a substitute country to calculate the dumping and subsidy quota. It is easy to cause reprisals from trading partners.

 As a result, international markets are worried that the United States will ignite global protectionism, and uncertainty in trade policy will seriously threaten the recovery of Global trade that has just begun in 2017.

Who is the biggest benefit winner in this trade war ?

Producers and workers of the steel and aluminum industry in the United States will be the beneficiaries of this tariff increase. The production, employment and profits of major U.S. steel and aluminium producers will improve as tariffs rise and stock prices rise.


Who is the biggest victim?

If the United States imposes high tariffs on steel and aluminium, the major importers of steel and aluminium, the downstream industries and consumers of steel and aluminium in the United States, will suffer.

The U.S. steel market is particularly important to Canada, Mexico and Brazil because their main steel destinations are the United States. For example, in the 2016 years, the United States accounted for 88%, 73% and 34% of steel exports from Canada, Mexico and Brazil, respectively. If Trump really imposed a 25% import tariff on steel, it would have dealt a heavy blow to steel exports from the three countries. So these countries are particularly sensitive and responsive to the import tariff measures of the United States.

Sections of this article have been taken from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_China%E2%80%93United_States_trade_war



  • What is 'multiple certification'?

    This is where a batch of steel meets more than one specification or grade. It is a way of allowing melting shops to produce stainless steel more efficiently by restricting the number of different types of steel. The chemical composition and mechanical properties of the steel can meet more than one grade within the same standard or across a number of standards. This also allows stockholders to minimise stock levels.

    For example, it is common for 1.4401 and 1.4404 (316 and 316L) to be dual certified - that is the carbon content is less than 0.030%. Steel certified to both European and US standards is also common.

  • What surface finishes are available on stainless steels?

    There are many different types of surface finish on stainless steel. Some of these originate from the mill but many are applied later during processing, for example polished, brushed, blasted, etched and coloured finishes.

    The importance of surface finish in determining the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel surface cannot be overemphasised. A rough surface finish can effectively lower the corrosion resistance to that of a lower grade of stainless steel.

  • Can I use stainless steel at high temperatures?

    Various types of stainless steel are used across the whole temperature range from ambient to 1100 deg C. The choice of grade depends on several factors:

    1. Maximum temperature of operation
    2. Time at temperature, cyclic nature of process
    3. Type of atmosphere, oxidising , reducing, sulphidising, carburising.
    4. Strength requirement

    In the European standards, a distinction is made between stainless steels and heat-resisting steels. However, this distinction is often blurred and it is useful to consider them as one range of steels.

    Increasing amounts of Chromium and silicon impart greater oxidation resistance. Increasing amounts of Nickel impart greater carburisation resistance.

  • Can I use stainless steel at low temperatures?

    Austenitic stainless steels are extensively used for service down to as low as liquid helium temperature (-269 deg C). This is largely due to the lack of a clearly defined transition from ductile to brittle fracture in impact toughness testing.

    Toughness is measured by impacting a small sample with a swinging hammer. The distance which the hammer swings after impact is a measure of the toughness. The shorter the distance, the tougher the steel as the energy of the hammer is absorbed by the sample. Toughness is measured in Joules (J). Minimum values of toughness are specified for different applications. A value of 40 J is regarded as reasonable for most service conditions.

    Steels with ferritic or martensitic structures show a sudden change from ductile (safe) to brittle (unsafe) fracture over a small temperature difference. Even the best of these steels show this behaviour at temperatures higher than -100 deg C and in many cases only just below zero.

    In contrast austenitic steels only show a gradual fall in the impact toughness value and are still well above 100 J at -196 deg C.

    Another factor in affecting the choice of steel at low temperature is the ability to resist transformation from austenite to martensite. 

  • Is stainless steel non-magnetic?

    It is commonly stated that “stainless steel is non-magnetic”. This is not strictly true and the real situation is rather more complicated. The degree of magnetic response or magnetic permeability is derived from the microstructure of the steel. A totally non-magnetic material has a relative magnetic permeability of 1. Austenitic structures are totally non-magnetic and so a 100% austenitic stainless steel would have a permeability of 1. In practice this is not achieved. There is always a small amount of ferrite and/or martensite in the steel and so permeability values are always above 1. Typical values for standard austenitic stainless steels can be in the order of 1.05 – 1.1. 

    It is possible for the magnetic permeability of austenitic steels to be changed during processing. For example, cold work and welding are liable to increase the amount of martensite and ferrite respectively in the steel. A familiar example is in a stainless steel sink where the flat drainer has little magnetic response whereas the pressed bowl has a higher response due to the formation of martensite particularly in the corners.

    In practical terms, austenitic stainless steels are used for “non-magnetic” applications, for example magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In these cases, it is often necessary to agree a maximum magnetic permeability between customer and supplier. It can be as low as 1.004.

    Martensitic, ferritic, duplex and precipitation hardening steels are magnetic.

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