Ukrainian steelmakers welcome US decision to suspend 232 tariffs, call for cancellation of other restrictions

Ukrainian steelmakers, particularly Metinvest and Interpipe, have welcomed the decision by the United States to suspend Section 232 tariffs of 25% against imports of steel from the country for one year

The decision was announced by US Commerce Department secretary Gina Raimondo on May 9 as a show of support for Ukraine amid its war with Russia.

“Interpipe products are directly supporting the energy sector of the US, and as one of the major Ukrainian producers, we are looking forward to the opportunity to supply our clients in the near term,” Interpipe board of directors leader Fadi Hraibi said.

Said MetInvest: “Speaking about the market of the United States in general, it will become a promising destination for us after the removal of the Section 232 tariff. MetInvest Group will be able to increase exports there instead of the markets of Latin America and Asia. We are considering entering the market with billet, welded pipes and, depending on market sentiment, wire rod and rebar.”

But trade restrictions adopted by the US against Ukraine before and after the implementation of the Section 232 tariffs remain in place. Thus, MetInvest believes that the suspension of the Section 232 tariffs will have a limited effect on sales of Ukrainian finished steel products to the US.

“The decision to remove all restrictive measures would be an important step for the Group within the framework of the program aimed to support Ukrainian industry,” the company said.

Those measures cover hot-rolled coil, bar, welded pipe, line pipe, oil country tubular goods, seamless pipe, rebar, and wire rod, with duties ranging from 7.47% to 90.30%.

A source from Ukraine’s ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, which specializes in long steel production, said that the company has no plans to sell to the US unless anti-dumping duties are removed.

According to US Census Bureau data, Ukraine supplied 130,652 tonnes of steel products to the country in 2021. This made up just under 0.50% of total US steel imports.

The European Commission on April 27 proposed a one-year suspension of its import duties against all Ukrainian exports to the bloc, but the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have yet to agree to this.

Meanwhile, Canada has terminated the 77% anti-dumping duty on certain varieties of Ukrainian carbon and alloy steel sheet, strip and coil, as well as some stainless steel.

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