US API criticises lack of steel tariff exceptions for oil, gas companies

17 July 2018 19:54 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday urged the US Department of Commerce (DOC) to reconsider its ruling to deny product exclusions from tariffs on imported steel, saying the decision will have negative consequences for the oil and gas industry.

US President Donald Trump signed proclamations in March calling for tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium. The move was not favoured by energy or petrochemical groups.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates more than $9bn worth of US chemicals and plastics exports have been negatively impacted by Trump’s trade decisions, and as much as half of the $194bn in planned US chemical industry investment is at risk of delay or abandonment.

The API heavily criticised the DOC’s decision on Monday to deny product exclusions for US natural gas and oil companies, noting a lack of domestic capacity to manufacture products to exact specification.

“This ruling ignores the legitimate and critical needs of the natural gas and oil industry for global sourcing of specialty steel products essential to delivering energy to the American families,” API executive vice president Marty Durbin said.

Durbin added that the API expects the tariffs to increase the cost of sourcing steel, which will by extension increase consumer’s energy costs.

“This is not the way to achieve the administration’s commendable goal of US energy dominance,” he said. “The administration should reconsider their trade policy decisions.”

By David Haydon