Mexican steelmakers want higher tariffs on steel imports

Steelmakers in Mexico have been asking the federal government to raise import duties on steel products to “stop the recent increase in imports”, ArcelorMittal Mexico said on Wednesday February 6.

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There are existing temporary tariffs of 3% on the import of some steel products, but Mexican mills want higher levels, “especially [for] semi-finished products such as slab and billet”, the company noted.

Members of the customs commission of the Mexican steel association, Canacero, said this week that steel imports increased by 40% last year in comparison with 2011, which puts the whole Mexican steel industry at risk.

“Imports of semi-finished steel products increased by 450% [in 2012], which threatens jobs, the national productive chain and the economic benefit from the steel industry in Mexico,” members of the commission said during a visit to ArcelorMittal Lázaro Cárdenas, in the state of Michoacán, the company reported.

Imports are mainly from countries outside the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) area – Brazil, Ukraine, Russia and China.

The Canacero customs commission includes Altos Hornos de México (Ahmsa), Minera Autlán, Ternium, ThyssenKrupp and ArcelorMittal.