Taiwan remains off U.S. metal tariff exemption list

Washington, May 31 (CNA) Taiwan has been left off a U.S. exemption list for additional tariffs on steel and aluminum, according to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce Friday.

The decision to keep Taiwan off the exemption list came after Taipei repeatedly expressed hope of securing exemption status.

On March 8, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose additional tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports.

It was the first time in more than three decades the law has been invoked to protect U.S. industry from competition brought about by imports.

The order makes it clear, however, that countries that wish to obtain a waiver to these tariffs are allowed to come up with "satisfactory alternative means" to address current trade inequalities.

Last week, when she received a delegation from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) at the Presidential Office, President Tsai Ing-wen (???) urged Washington to include Taiwan on the exemption list.

"A stable economic partnership between Taiwan and the U.S. plays a positive role in Washington's economic security," Tsai said during the reception.

On Friday, the local steel sector on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 1.30 percent as investors shrugged off the news of Taiwan's failure to be placed on the tariff exemption list.

Among the rising steel stocks, China Steel Corp., the largest steel supplier in Taiwan, rose 0.64 percent to close at NT$23.75, Yieh Phui Enterprise Co. added 0.99 percent to end at NT$10.25, and China Steel Structure Corp. gained 6.81 percent to close at NT$26.65.

China Steel said that after Washington invoked the law to slap additional tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in March, many Taiwanese suppliers, in particular in the downstream segment, have intensified efforts to diversify their customer lists by seeking sales sources outside the U.S. market to avoid the impact.

For its part, Yieh Phui said it has been in talks with its U.S. buyers on the possibility that its clients will share the financial burden resulting from the tariffs.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel