The Ministry of Commerce says it is now working to find a solution to the steel industry after US President Donald Trump has decided to impose high import tariffs on steel and aluminum that will have a long-term detriment to Thailand’s steel industry.
The US restriction will take effect on March 23.
Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said after a meeting with steel industry representatives on Friday (March 9) that the industry viewed that in the short-term of 1-3 months, the impact would be minimal as Thai steel will still remain competitive despite higher taxes.
However, in the long run, the impact on the industry will be significant not least for steel pipes and cold rolled steel factories, he said.
But Mr Sontirat assured that the ministry will be negotiating with the US to exempt Thai steel under special HS codes (Harmonized System) and will be closely monitoring developments.
He said that a united effort between the ministry and steel operators would be needed if Thai interests are to be protected.
Thailand exported steel amounted to US$ 800 million or 25 billion baht a year to the US.