THE United States’ plan to slap a 25-percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminum will have no direct impact on the Philippines, SteelAsia Manufacturing Corporation, the country’s largest steel company and the largest producer of rebars in Southeast Asia, said over the weekend.
“The Philippines is not a big trading partner of the US for steel. So, there will be no direct impact,” said SteelAsia president Adrian Cristobal Jr.
“Indirectly, the new policy may divert commodity steel products from the US market to other markets, including Asia, which could benefit us,” added Cristobal.
US President Donald Trump last week ordered the imposition of higher tariffs on aluminum and steel.
Trump said the new tariffs on steel and aluminum were aimed at China, as part of the US government’s ramped up efforts to clamp down on dumping and unfair subsidies of foreign goods sold in the US.
“We don’t believe there will be supply issues for construction steel as a result of the new US policy,” said Cristobal.
Steel and aluminum are two key materials used in the construction and manufacturing industries.
While SteelAsia claims that the higher tariffs will have “no direct impact” for the country’s steel industry, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Department of Trade and Industry is currently assessing the possible impact of the higher tariffs.
“[We are] having the numbers checked to estimate the impact,” Lopez said.