The impact of 25 percent tariffs on imports of steel into the United States has been significantly eroded by the domestic mill price increases. Clearly, this situation would not have been anticipated at the beginning of the initiative.
The MEPS North American Average Flat Products selling figure increased by 34 percent, since the start of the year. In Western Europe, the steel price recovery, in US dollar terms, was just 3.5 percent over the same period. In Asia, an upturn of 6.5 percent was recorded.
How can the authorities in the United States square this circle? It is clear that, on a cost basis, domestic steel users will be in a position to return to purchasing from outside the country. This was not the original plan when the Section 232 plan was devised.
The answer will rest with the domestic steel producers. Overseas suppliers are likely to maintain their current offer prices. It will require action from the local steelmakers. This would, almost certainly, require them to adopt a different strategy to the one currently in place.