WASHINGTON: The United States and Japan on Monday are set to announce a deal to grant Japanese steelmakers relief from Trump-era US tariffs for a limited amount of steel imports, people familiar with the plans said.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is not yet public, said it will allow about 1.25 million metric tonnes into the United States duty-free, with volumes above that level subject to the 25% “Section 232” national security tariffs.
The sources said the agreement differs significantly from a deal announced last year by the United States and the European Union that removes tariffs from more than 4 million tonnes of steel annually and leaves Japanese aluminum subject to 10% US tariffs.
Unlike the EU deal, past steel product exclusions from tariffs will not be added to Japan’s quota, and Japan will not participate in US-EU talks on a global agreement to discourage trade in steel made with high carbon emissions, the sources added.
Japan’s steel industry is highly dependent on coal-fired blast furnace production, while more than 70% of US steel is made with electric-arc furnaces that emit less carbon.
An announcement is planned for late afternoon Washington time. Bloomberg earlier reported that an announcement was imminent.
Spokespeople for the Commerce Department and the US Trade Representative’s office declined to comment on the US-Japan steel talks.
Last week, Japan’s ambassador to Washington, Koji Tomita, said that negotiations between Japan and the United States over US steel and aluminum tariffs were robust and the EU deal would serve as a template for an agreement with Japan.