New Delhi: Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on Friday said the 25 per cent tariff imposed by the US on steel import can 'indirectly' affect the domestic sector.
US President Donald Trump has imposed a 25 per cent import tariff on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium.
Singh had earlier said the US' levy of heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium would not have any major impact on steel production in India as steel export to US was only 3.3 per cent of total exports.
However, on Friday speaking at a conference here, he said: "The US decision to impose 25 per cent tariff on steel imports will have negligible direct impact (on India's export) as India's share of US Steel imports is very small as compared to other countries but there might be an indirect impact".
The minister said India may be exporting very less amount of steel to the US but other countries export in huge quantity to that country and with high tariffs in place they may start looking for new steel consuming markets like India to export their produce.
"The countries which are exporting to the US will be forced to look at other major steel consuming markets like India to sell their surplus (produce) and (can) slightly distort our domestic market considerably due to dumping," he said.
N A Ansari, CEO Steel Business, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), who also attended the conference on steel and trade, said: "In the global steel business about 300 MT (million tonne) is what is traded between the countries... and due to this US tariff move, at least some 85 MT of steel might find its way to India. We need to be very careful at this point of time".
The minister has already acknowledged that the government is aware of the situation and the steel ministry is working with several other ministries and the government will not hesitate taking action when required to save the local industry, Ansari pointed out.