The United States has raised a retaliatory tariff on Korean galvanized steel plates in a preliminary ruling. There is still a possibility that the US will further raise the tariff in the final decision in the future.
According to the steel industry on August 8, the US Department of Commerce imposed a 10.32-percent preliminary tariff on Hyundai Steel’s galvanized steel plates in an annual review. The tariff rose by 2.43 percentage points from the previous one imposed in the final judgment in the original trial. On the other hand, a 4.14-percent tariff was imposed on products of Dongkuk Steel Mill. The 4.14 percent is a drop from 8.75 percent in the previous ruling.
Galvanized steel plates are post-processed cold-rolled steel sheets mainly used as steel sheets for automobiles and exterior building materials. Korean steel companies exported US$ 440.61 million worth of galvanized steel sheets to the US last year.
This is why the steel industry paid much attention to the ruling. In particular, Hyundai Steel has been all attention to watch the ruling as the company has supplied galvanized steel plates produced in Korea to Hyundai Motor’s Alabama plant and Kia Motors’ Georgia plant in the US. If high tariffs are imposed on products of Hyundai Steel, it will be a big burden on Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors as well as Hyundai Steel. Dongkuk Steel Mill has been stepping up its efforts to lower the tariff, too, as the US market accounts for 10% of its sales.
Korean steelmakers are not letting their guard down while saying that they put up a relatively good fight when taking into account rising steel prices in the US market. This is because there is concern that the tariffs may surge in the final judgment. Unlike a preliminary ruling in which the US Department of Commerce determines a tariff rate based on submitted documents, the US Department of Commerce carries out a due diligence inspection for the final ruling.