New US steel tariffs to impact power transformer industry

Jun 1, 2018
Companies
Posted by Patrick Haddad

The White House yesterday announced a 25% tax on steel, and a 10% tax on aluminium from the E.U., Mexico, and Canada, impacting metal costs for the transformer industry.

While the tariffs had been announced some time ago, an exemption was tabled for key allies, which has now fallen through.

The new tariffs could impact heavily upon domestic transformer manufacturers, who rely on a steady supply of the two metals. The U.S. is the worlds greatest steel importer, although it does not produce enough domestically to meet demand, meaning higher metal costs are likely.

Electrical steel, in particular, could be sensitive to the new tariffs as there is only one manufacturer of electrical, carbon, and stainless steels in North America, AK Steel. The announcement was met with concern by the transformer industry and car manufacturers, both of whom consume high amounts of electrical steel.

U.S. steelmakers, including AK Steel, saw shares rise on Thursday, while companies like ABB and Siemens saw a decline. Retaliatory tariffs are likely to be imposed by steel producing countries affected by the tariffs, such as Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminium to the U.S., and Japan, another major producer.

Source: PTN / BBC

Photo (for illustrative purposes): Donald Trump/Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia/ CC BY-SA 2.0

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