Cold Rolled Steel And The Latest Issues With China

Posted on: 15 March 2016

Cold-rolled steel is basically a product made from hot-rolled steel that is further processed. Once the hot-rolled steel is created, it is cooled and rolled into sheets or flat rolls; this is how the product gets the name "cold-rolled steel." Other products are mistakenly labeled as "cold-rolled" when they are not that at all. Steel bars, tubes and other products are "cold-finished" as opposed to "cold-rolled." Cold-rolled steel has several advantages over hot-rolled steel. This product comes in a larger variety of finishes than its hot-rolled counterparts. Cold-rolled steel is also stronger and more durable and can be used in a larger number of applications.

Duties on Cold-Rolled Steel

In early March of 2016, the United States imposed duties on products coming from seven countries. These countries include China, India, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United Kingdom, which comprise the seven largest importers of cold-rolled flat steel products to the United States. These duties were levied by the Department of Commerce and will remain in effect until further notice. While the duties are proposed to take effect within seven days of the announcement, these duties must still be confirmed. This confirmation will not come until later in 2016.

Purpose of Duties

These duties are being levied against imports of cold-rolled steel products to combat a downturn in the steel market that has been caused by steel imports to the U.S. Foreign competitors produce steel and store it in reserve until the market is lean and the price of steel products is high. These companies then dump all of their products into the U.S. market, causing prices to drop drastically. This process has caused severe damage to the U.S. steel market, as well as related markets. The world's largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, showed nearly an $8 billion loss in 2015. ArcelorMittal has a huge presence in the United States. In addition, U.S. Steel Corp. saw a $1.5 billion loss for 2015. This causes several issues for the United States economy, including unemployment, less spending from certain market sectors, and less tax revenue from companies that deal in steel or depend on steel to survive. More than 12,000 workers in the United States have been either temporarily or permanently laid off due to the losses at the country's major steel manufacturing companies. 

Amounts Levied Against Importers

Imports of steel products from China will be levied with a 266% duty. Brazil steelmakers will see tariffs of around 38%, while  Japanese steel imports will be levied with a 72% tariff. Russian imports will be taxed at an average of 15%, and U.K. imports will be taxed at 5% to 30%. India and South Korea importers will be taxed at less than 10%. The United States government believes that these tariffs will reduce the amount of super-cheap steel that is being imported into the United States, and strengthen the U.S. steel market and the nation's economy. Contact a business, such as A & C Metals - Sawing, for more information about steel.