The implementation of Section 232 by the US authorities has created chaos in steel markets, worldwide. Since the investigation was launched, in April 2017, steel prices have rocketed. MEPS’ reported selling value for the main benchmark product, hot rolled coil, has increased by 40 percent, in North America.
Further tariffs are now being considered, by the US, for imports of a wide range of manufactured goods that have a high steel content. These include automobiles and associated spare parts. Other manufactured goods are under consideration for inclusion in the extended regime.
Numerous retaliatory actions have been announced by trading partners of the US. Furthermore, import restrictions are under consideration, by many national authorities, as they fear the distortion of trade flows. Protectionist measures, which started because of steel imports into the US, may spread around the world and affect a wide range of manufactured goods. This would undo years of careful negotiations towards free trade.