April 24, 2018 / 5:24 AM / in 6 months

Japan steel industry head says new U.S. tariffs have not hit Asia market yet

TOKYO (Reuters) - The head of Japan’s steel industry federation said on Tuesday that new import tariffs on steel imposed by the United States have not yet hit the Asian steel market, but said the industry is monitoring the situation closely for any future impact.

A worker uses a mobile phone in front of steel coils and steel sheets at a distribution warehouse in Urayasu, east of Tokyo April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

Japanese steelmakers are trying to seek item exemptions from the U.S. tariffs, Japan Iron and Steel Federation Chairman Kosei Shindo said at a news conference.

Chimneys of a steel factory are pictured at an industrial area in Kawasaki, Japan, January 16, 2017. Picture taken January 16, 2017.REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

“We want the U.S. government to speed up its process as this will have an impact on the U.S. customers,” said Shindo, also the president of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp (5401.T).

Shindo said only about 165 applications to seek item exemption out of nearly 4,000 applications have been approved so far.

Last month, the U.S. administration set duties of 25 percent on steel on grounds of national security, but provided a temporary exemption until May 1 for the European Union and some other countries.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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