U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to slap hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will likely make Southeast Asia the new hunting ground for global exporters seeking buyers, creating a glut that could depress prices and prompt some producers to close. More of China’s steel may find its way into developing countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam, but it could face competition from Russia, Ukraine and Turkey, industry officials and traders said. Chinese aluminum exporters, which may take a similar tack, could clash with producers in South Korea and Thailand. Trump said the duties, 25 percent on steel imports and ten percent on aluminum, would be formally announced next week, and believes they will protect American jobs. Fears of a global trade war dragged down Asian equities with shares of Asian steel producers supplying the U.S. market hit hard. South Korea is the third-biggest steel supplier to the United States after Canada and Brazil and would be the hardest hit by the tariffs. Other Asian suppliers are Japan, Taiwan and India. China, the world’s biggest steel producer, accounted for only about 2.9 percent of U.S. steel imports, data compiled by Wood Mackenzie showed. The world’s top steel-buying nation, the… Read full this story
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