October 9, 2018 / 9:18 AM / 9 days ago

U.S. grants most of Voestalpine's requests for exemptions to steel tariffs

VIENNA (Reuters) - The United States has granted more than half of the exemptions to its steel import tariffs that Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine and its customers applied for, the company said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of steelmaker Voestalpine stands in front of the steel plant Donawitz in Leoben, Austria, August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

Washington in May announced tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Of the 4,300 product exemptions that the company and its customers applied for, 2,640 have received a response from the U.S. administration, Voestalpine said. Of those, roughly 2,360 were granted and 280 turned down, it added.

“The economic risk for Voestalpine related to these tariffs has thus reduced ... significantly,” the company said in a statement.

Voestalpine repeated its assessment in June that only up to around 3 percent of its revenue could have been affected by the tariffs. It said at the time that the associated economic risk was “very manageable”.

“We are optimistic that we will receive mainly positive responses to the remaining applications,” Voestalpine added on Tuesday.

Voestalpine supplies sectors including the auto, rail and energy industries with specialty steel products but also produces steel strip. When asked which products had received exemptions, a spokeswoman said they were “across the board” and involved all four of the company’s divisions.

Reporting by Francois Murphy, editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely

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