ArcelorMittal USA secures tariffs of up to 94 percent

Steel plates wait to be hardened at the ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor Plate Heat Treat Facility in 2012. ArcelorMittal USA recently got tariffs it requested on steel plates from Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.

The U.S. International Trade Commission has determined imports of steel plates from Brazil, South Africa and Turkey have been hurting U.S. steelmakers, a decision that will result in tariffs of up to 94 percent.

ArcelorMittal USA, Nucor and SSAB from Lisle, Illinois, requested the tariffs on cut-to-length steel plates. The United States plans to impose tariffs as high as 50 percent on imports from Turkey, 74.52 percent on imports from Brazil and 94.14 percent on imports from South Africa.

The tariffs on carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate are meant to offset dumping, or when foreign countries sell steel for less than it's worth here with an eye toward gaining long-term market share.

Steel mills in Northwest Indiana make cut-to-length plate, which supports an estimated 4,591 jobs nationwide. U.S. steelmakers sold about $4.7 billion worth of the plate in 2015 while U.S. customers bought an estimated $5.8 billion worth of it, according to the International Trade Commission.

It's typically used in cranes, bulldozers, bridges, machine parts, light poles, railroad cars, ships, and electricity transmission towers. Brazil, South Africa and Turkey shipped an estimated $52.4 million worth of cut-to-length steel plates to the United States in 2015. A separate trade case is pending against other importers of cut-to-length plate.

The United States currently has more than 160 tariffs on steel products from abroad, Congressman Pete Visclosky's office estimates. But the country still imported 26.2 million tons of steel in 2016, accounting for about 26 percent of the market share, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.
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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.