Economic Warfare: >500% tax on Chinese cold-rolled steel

The US put a tax of the above mentioned amount (constituted on the basis of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy) against Chinese steel exports. (Apart from the steel lobbies in the US, similar political pressures exist in Europe.) Solving the issue is not straightforward. Steel surpluses from 2013 prop up these state owned firms; which are critical cogs in the Chinese economy with their hiring and tax revenue for instance. Allowing them to degenerate would arguably create an internal backlash in China where legitimacy is based to a significant degree on the material standard of living.

Cold-rolled steel make up US$200,000,000 of imports. (The Oxford Dictionaries record that for the Americans, one billion is one thousand million.) Reportedly, the US authorities are verifying other unfair advantages given to the Chinese steel imports for the other $1.8 billion of steel imports. Presumably, this could lead to more taxes – and retaliation from the Chinese.

On the side, Japanese steel were hit with “…much smaller tariffs.” In the past Japan was the biggest thorn in the steel trade. In 1998, according a British Broadcasting Corporation article in 1999, Japanese exports to the US jumped four fold. The Japanese felt the cause was the strong US Dollar rather than cut-throat Japanese prices. Regardless, the US International Trade Commission recommended taxes of up to 67% on Japanese steel. Since then, China has overtaken Japan as the second largest economy. The competitor focus has therefore changed accordingly.

BBC. (11 Jun 1999). Business: The Economy US-Japan steel war escalates. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/366570.stm.

Lucy Hornby. (18 May 2016). US raises duties on Chinese steel. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/18/financial-times-us-raises-duties-on-chinese-steel.html. The Financial Times on CNBC.

BBCBBC.

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