MOSCOW (Sputnik) – German Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Brigitte Zypries commented on the US Commerce Department’s intention to increase tariffs on steel imports, saying that there are no grounds for unilateral US restrictions.
“We do not share the view that European or even German steel imports can threaten US national security… This is why there is no reason to impose unilateral restrictions on steel imports,” Zypries said in her interview to Welt am Sonntag, a German newspaper.
Last week, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recommended to impose a 53-percent tariff on all steel imports from 12 countries (Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam) or a global tariff of at least 24 percent on all steel imports from all countries, including Germany.
In his report, Ross explained that the global excess capacity of steel is 700 million tons, nearly seven times the annual total of US steel consumption.
The commerce secretary explained that this measure must increase US steel production from its current 73 percent of capacity to about 80 percent.
According to figures, provided by the US Commerce Department, Germany accounts for the 3% share of US steel imports, which makes the country one of the top 10 source states for the US.