Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS
Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS

The US’s decision to reject SA’s application for exemption from President Donald Trump’s import duties on steel and aluminium may threaten about 7,500 jobs.

On Monday, Trump signed proclamations granting permanent exemptions to a select number of countries and extended by one month the steel and aluminium tariff duty exemptions for some. SA was not among them.

South African steel and aluminium products were likely to be displaced out of the US market in favour of the exempted countries because they would be less competitive, the Department of Trade and Industry said. It is also concerned that the duties are being implemented in a way that contravenes some fundamental World Trade Organisation principles.

The department has urged domestic exporters to ask their US buyers to consider applying for product exemption under a process conducted by the US commerce department and said that it would continue to consult the industry.

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