The International Trade Administration Commission has recently determined that it was necessary to impose 10% import tariffs and custom duties, relating to coated flat-rolled steel products, in respect of nine new tariff codes.
In response, National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA), on behalf of steel downstream companies who will be severely prejudiced by this development, filed an urgent application in the Gauteng High Court to interdict and restrain ITAC from recommending to the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition that these recommendations be gazetted and enforced upon the industry.
ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has also recently applied for 120% safeguard duties on certain long products as well as for the extension of the safeguard duties of 8% on hot-rolled coil. Should this be granted, hot-rolled coil will carry a total duty of 18%.
“These attempts by AMSA for more protectionist duties amidst the current severe backlogs, caused by their inability to supply the market, is absurd, to say the least,” NEASA said.
“AMSA posted a R2,6 billion headline loss for the first half of the year compared to many modern mills that are profitable at the ruling price for steel. The duties that desecrated jobs in the downstream therefore did not achieve anything to save AMSA.
“Downstream businesses are carrying the full cost of this litigation,” NEASA concluded.