President Donald Trump’s recent announcement of a 25% tariff on steel imports has unnerved stock markets and unleashed the fears of an impending trade war as countries affected by this move retaliate through other trade channels.
“..You will have protection for the first time in a long while, and you’re going to regrow your industries. That’s all I’m asking. You have to regrow your industries,” Trump in a March 1 listening session with representatives from the aluminum and steel industry.
The U.S. is the world’s largest steel importer, importing 26.9 million metric tons of steel between January and September 2017, according to International Trade Administration’s Global steel Trade Monitor report.
Trade has featured prominently on the business agenda of this administration, and Trump has repeatedly spoken about the need to protect domestic industries and reduce trade deficit. While the efficacy of this measure remains to be determined, here’s a look at the countries that the U.S. gets most of its steel imports from.
Surprise: Canada, Not China
The top source of American steel imports is Canada, not China, accounting for nearly 16% of all imports between January and September last year. In fact, China ranks 15th on that list and saw a 5% decline in the volume of exports to the U.S. compared to the same period a year before. An important caveat, however, is that U.S. steel makers filed a complaint against Chinese-originated steel imports from Vietnam last December and the Department of Commerce announced its intention to impose heavy anti-dumping duties on those products.
India (144%) and Russia (128%) were the fastest-growing exporters for steel to the U.S. in terms of value for the first nine months of last year.