(Yicai Global) April 27 -- The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) released a statement yesterday on a US investigation of iron and steel imports.
It denounced the US as sending out protectionist signals that violate fair trade principles, and vowed to monitor developments, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
US President Trump signed an executive memorandum on April 20 directing the US commerce department to investigate and determine whether steel imports should be barred if they hold the potential to damage national security. He also said the investigation does not target China.
The US is not only the largest iron and steel consumer, but also the largest importer worldwide, a CISA spokesman said. US statistics for last year show its import volume of iron and steel decreasing by an annual 14.8 percent, with the monetary amount falling by 26.4 percent, thus further increasing the pressure on international steel markets.
"China's steel exports to the US are very limited and do not affect the security of the US steel industry at all. The US imports steel mainly from other countries, not China," the spokesman said.
China exported 1.17 million tons of steel to the US last year -- 1 percent of China's total export volume -- in the amount of USD1.7 billion, 3 percent of China's total steel exports, per Chinese statistics. US data for last year show 789,000 tons of steel imports from China accounting for 2.6 percent of total US imports, in the amount of USD910 million, making up 4.1 percent of the total value of US steel imports.
Both countries face the problem of excess global steel capacity, the spokesman stressed. As a heavyweight in steel production, consumption and trade, China has taken effective measures to slash capacity, and will continue to do so.
He hopes the US will also work in the same direction and expend efforts to adjust the structure of the iron and steel industry by shedding backward production capacity and enhancing industrial modernization to exert its influence and promote sound development of the international iron and steel industry.