Turkey may consider retaliatory measures if US curbs Turkish steel imports
“Such measures will hit Turkish importers, producers and exporters. If they complain about U.S. measures, then we will assess the situation and are more likely to take retaliatory measures,” Zeybekçi said, adding that they were closely following the developments.
He noted that Turkey has imposed additional customs duties on certain imports from the U.S.
“Turkish steel producers have faced three anti-dumping investigations in the U.S. but the cases were later dropped,” Zeybekçi said, adding that the Turkish government does not provide any support or incentives to local steel producers that create unfair competition.
The minister criticized U.S policies, stating that they violated World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
“The U.S is not likely to reverse its protectionist policies any time soon. So we are taking precautions,” Zeybekçi said.
Zeybekçi’s remarks came shortly after news that the U.S. Department of Commerce was considering various options for imposing customs duties or quotas on steel and aluminum imports, arguing that importing those products “weakens national security.”
The department’s primary recommendation is imposing a 24-percent tariff on steel imports.
The second alternative is a tariff of 53 percent for 12 steel producing countries, including Turkey.
Another involves imposing quotas based on 63 percent of each country’s 2017 steel exports.
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to make a decision on tariffs and curbs in mid-April.
Last year, Turkey exported $1.1 billion worth of steel to the U.S., capturing a 5.7 percent share in the U.S.’s total imports. This made Turkey the sixth largest seller of steel to the U.S.
Turkey’s share in the U.S.’s total imports declined by 1.6 points from a year ago.
According to U.S. data, Turkey accounted for the second largest share of the U.S.’s long steel imports.