Mar 02 2018

Turkish steelmakers among hardest hit by U.S. tariffs

Turkish steel producers will be among the hardest hit by new U.S. tariffs on imported steel, ZeroHedge reported.

Turkey-sourced steel accounts for about 6 percent of all U.S. imports of the commodity, following Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and Russia, ZeroHedge said, citing research by Barclays.

Shares in Erdemir, Turkey’s biggest steelmaker, fell 4.1 percent to 10.65 liras on the Istanbul Stock Exchange on Friday.

While President Donald Trump’s decision to impose the 25 percent tariffs was clearly aimed at China, Chinese steel accounts for just 2 percent of imports, in 11th spot despite the country producing half of the world’s steel. Plus, the United States already has restrictions in place on Chinese imports, ZeroHedge said.

“While the direct threat to the U.S. economy from Trump's tariffs is negligible, the risk of course, lies in the response of U.S. trading partners and whether the administration’s decision to impose restrictive trade policies is only the first in a series of moves,” the website said.

Trump may be forced to backtrack on the measure quickly should the stock market react. It may not take much for holders of trillions of dollars of U.S. securities, including China, to bark sell, it said.

Similar tariffs by the Bush administration in 2002 were reversed the following year after trading partners retaliated. What followed was a drop of more than 30 percent in the S&P 500, ZeroHedge said.

Countries including Turkey have already threatened reprisals.