The Port of Antwerp port is the biggest steel port in Europe, with approximately 1.1 million tonnes of steel sent to the USA in 2016 and 2017. This amount of exports means that the Antwerp Port is now handling almost 50% of the European steel exports to the USA.
According to sources, in the first quarter of 2018, exports from Antwerp to the US grew by 43% compared to 2017. This is explained by a slow 2017, however anticipation for the new prices had its impact, as US companies equipped to prepare for the taxes as best as they can.
Nevertheless, the exact impact that the new tariffs will have on the Port is unpredictable, and it depends on how Europe will react to this development.
On Friday, June 1, the US decided to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from key allies in Europe and North America. Namely, the US will establish a 25% tax on steel and 10% tax on aluminium from the EU, Mexico and Canada. Canada and Mexico immediately retaliated, while the European Union has its own retaliation ready.
Specifically, Canada and Mexico immediately retaliated the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, increasing fears for a global trade war, Reuters reported. As Germany’s Economy Minister noted, the EU is already planning its response in cooperation with Canada and Mexico.
Moreover, Canada will impose retaliatory tariffs on £9.6 billion worth of US exports and challenge US steel and aluminium tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization. The Canadian tariffs will enter into force from July 1 and will last until the US lifts its own measures.