THE Philippines, a steel importer, stands to benefit from a US plan to impose import duties on aluminum and steel because it may create a glut for exporters, lowering prices, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.
“[This may have an] immediate positive impact for us,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.
US President Donald J. Trump has threatened to impose duties of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum products, triggering a possible trade war.
“Weaker import demand in the US due to higher tariffs may lead to a glut from major producers China, Russia, and Brazil and can lead to dampened prices which can partly be absorbed by fast-growing economies in Southeast Asia,” he added in a mobile message.
Mr. Lopez noted that cheaper steel will help the Philippines execute its infrastructure plans.
SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp.’s, the country’s largest steel company and leading producer of rebar in Southeast Asia said it also expects the region’s fast-growing economies to help absorb shipments turned away from the US market.
SteelAsia accounts for more than 80% of the country’s demand for rebar. — Janina C. Lim