Steel coils. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Steel coils. Picture: BLOOMBERG

SA said on Wednesday that that the US had granted some local steel and aluminium producers exemptions from tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump this year.

Trump’s decision to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminium riled metals producers worldwide, though some major exporting nations secured exemptions for all their steel and aluminium products.

The US department of commerce granted exemptions for 161 aluminium and 36 steel products made by companies whose US customers asked for the exemptions, the department of trade and industry said on Wednesday.

Exempted products included aluminium foil and aluminium plates, sheets and strip, as well as steel hot-rolled bars, hot-rolled sheets, cold-rolled sheets, plates cut and plates in coils, the department said.

Shares in ArcelorMittal’s South African unit, which produces some of the products covered by the exemptions, were up 8% at 10.44am GMT.

The department, which earlier warned the tariffs could lead to job losses in manufacturing and mining, said it was still trying to get exemptions for all South African steel and aluminium products. South African exports of aluminium products account for about 1.6% of total US aluminium imports.

“The exemption of these products will contribute towards ensuring that jobs in companies producing these products are retained,” the department said.