Then-US President Donald Trump in 2018 imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports from countries like Ukraine.
The United States will suspend tariffs on Ukrainian steel for a year, the US Commerce Department said, citing the damage Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has done to the industry.
“Some of Ukraine’s largest steel communities are among those most affected by Putin’s barbarism, and the Mariupol steelworks has become an enduring symbol of Ukraine’s determination to resist Russian aggression,” the department said. in a statement, referring to the plant that became the last stronghold of government troops fighting the Russians for their city.
Then-US President Donald Trump in 2018 imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports from countries like Ukraine. Lawmakers from both major US parties urged President Joe Biden in April to lift the tariffs.
Ukraine is the 13th largest steel producer and normally exports about 80 percent of its output.
Last month, the European Commission proposed a one-year suspension of import tariffs on all Ukrainian products not covered by an existing free trade agreement.
The European Union also proposed to exempt Ukraine from safeguard measures limiting steel imports and to eliminate anti-dumping duties that the EU currently imposes on steel tubes, hot-rolled flat steel products and ironing boards from Ukraine. .
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden praised the move, saying “it is important that the United States does everything it can to support the Ukrainian economy.”
The US Chamber of Commerce noted that Ukraine exported a total of $1.9 billion worth of goods to the US in 2021, less than 0.1 percent of all US imports but about 2, 8 percent of total Ukrainian exports.
Before Russia’s invasion, almost half of US imports from Ukraine were metals such as iron, pig iron and steel, but they represented a small fraction of total US metal imports.
The US Department of Commerce says Ukraine’s steel industry accounts for one in 13 Ukrainian jobs. Steel and related sectors comprise nearly 12 percent of Ukraine’s gross domestic product.