Iran Must Raise Steel Import Tariff to Counter Trump’s Levy

An Iranian parliamentarian has urged the government to increase tariffs on importing steel, saying that otherwise the US steel tariff hike could negatively affect the Iranian steel industry.

US President Donald Trump last week announced that he would impose tariffs of 25 percent on all imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

In reaction, Iranian lawmaker Ramezan-Ali Sobhanifar said, “Considering the fact the US is a major consumer of steel, the tariff increase could push major steel producers to look for new markets.”

The US steel industry is under threat because it is incapable of competing with Chinese or even European steel producers, Sobhanifar said, adding that such a situation could threaten Iranian steel industry too.

“Countries with low steel tariffs could be good export markets for these producers,” he said, according to a Farsi report by ICANA.

However, the lawmaker said Iran’s steel industry can fulfill the domestic demand and the country needs no steel imports.

“So we need to increase steel tariff to the extent that major producers see no benefit in trying to penetrate into the Iranian market”, he said.

Trump, who cited a rarely invoked national security section of US trade law as the legal basis for his decision, said he aims to protect the US industries.

The Trump’s protectionist steel tariff sparked outrage across the globe, AFP reported.

Canada, the top source of steel to the US market, has already vowed to take “appropriate, responsive measures” if the Trump administration goes ahead with the tariffs.

The European Union has threatened to hit big-name US brands such as Harley Davidson motorbikes and Levi’s jeans with import duties.

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