Fraser Hammond Reports US Restrictions Threaten India's Exports

India calls for unrestricted trade as US import tariffs threaten to damage the country's growing exports

Fraser Hammond: Indian steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh has emphasized the need for free trade after saying that India’s goal of becoming a major steel exporter could be derailed by U.S. import restrictions.

In a press interview, Singh said that India’s exports have increased significantly with approximately 40 percent growth last year. Singh predicts that India’s exports will continue to grow.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced last week that the United States would impose harsh tariffs on imported metals, but stated that some nations, including Mexico, Canada and Australia, would be exempt from the fees. The European Union and other major U.S. trading partners have cautioned that the tariffs could have an undesired effect and may provoke a trade war that would be more harmful to U.S. allies than China who is the intended target of the tariffs.

The import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum will come into effect in 15 days. Economists at Taipei, Taiwan-based Fraser Hammond say that this was a highly controversial move that could spark a trade war.

Singh stated that India will call for free trade and will monitor reactions from other steel manufacturing nations with similar interests.

Last month, a report released by India’s steel ministry revealed that India anticipates a loss of approximately $130 million as a result of the United States’ import tariffs. This figure accounts for about five percent of the country’s total steel exports.

Fraser Hammond economists say that India was already anticipating a decline in exports to the United States to 333,656 tonnes this year.

Source: Fraser Hammond