South Africans have reacted angrily to the imposition of blanket US import tariffs on steel and aluminium exports. These will become effective from June 1 2018, according to the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa). It is estimated at least 7,500 workers in these industries will lose their jobs. The tariffs will starve upstream and downstream manufacturers in SA of foreign currency. Major companies affected include diversified metals and mining group South32, premier steel maker ArcelorMittal SA and aluminium products fabricator Hulamin. The US measures will also be negative for SA’s foreign exchange reserves. "The proclamation by the US will [annually] directly cost South African exporters roughly R3bn worth of steel products and R474m worth of aluminium products," Seifsa chief economist Michael Ade says. He indicates the only apparent option available to South African exporters is to convince their customers in the US to lobby for exclusions for ...

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