The expectation has been for a huge swing lower in the amount of flat rolled foreign steel imports coming into the United States in October. The industry is waiting for the combination of the drying up of the surge of orders placed to “beat” any Section 232 duty and the impact of higher world steel prices, which has made foreign steel less competitive in the U.S.
One of the items that was anticipated was that the Section 232 review on steel recommendations would be provided to President Trump by Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at the end of June, and then the announcement on any duties/quotas would be made potentially as early as July 2017. As we all know, the recommendations from Ross and any presidential decision have been put off until after tax reform has been passed by the U.S. Congress.
So, what has been happening with foreign steel imports over the past two years? The data is quite telling.
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