Turkey ends steel tariffs and cancels safeguard

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Turkey ends steel tariffs and cancels safeguard

Korean steelmakers can now ship more of their products to Turkey as the country has lifted its provisional safeguard measure against imported steel products.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Wednesday that Turkey has lifted its provisional safeguard measure against steel products imported from Korea and other countries. Turkey implemented the measure on five imported steel products in October last year and placed a 25-percent tariff on imports exceeding the average imported volume between 2015 and 2017.

The country launched a special probe in April 2018 and terminated the investigation Wednesday without imposing restrictions. The 25 percent tariff had been temporarily imposed.

“The news will help Korean auto factories in Turkey acquire stable supplies of necessary materials and secure their place in the market,” the ministry said in a release. “It is meaningful that the global safeguard movement that started in the United States is stopped from expanding.”

The safeguard measure initially came as Turkey was concerned with a possible influx of steel products after the United States and the European Union (EU) made protectionist moves.

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed 25 percent tariffs on imported steel and 10 percent tariffs on imported aluminum in March last year on national security grounds. The EU soon followed and imposed tariffs on steel products as well.

Korean steelmakers exported around 818,000 tons of steel products for a total of $850 million to Turkey last year, which is down from 1.14 million tons in 2016 and 945,000 tons in 2017.

The Korean government has repeatedly requested the Turkish government terminate the probe. Ministry officials met with Turkey’s trade officials four times last year for negotiations.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]
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