September 12, 2018 / 8:53 AM / 2 months ago

Voestalpine gets tariff exemptions for some U.S. orders: CEO

The logo of steelmaker Voestalpine sits outside the steel plant Donawitz in Leoben, Austria, August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine said some of the applications it has filed to shield U.S. orders from local import tariffs have been successful.

The company has so far received 140 responses to the total 3,500 applications it has filed, Chief Executive Wolfgang Eder told journalists late on Tuesday.

“Sixty came out in our favor and 80 were decided against us,” he said.

Eder said, however, that the decisions so far only affected small orders. “The really big ones are still outstanding,” he said, adding the results showed that it was still worth fighting for exemptions.

The United States in June slapped import tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports from the European Union, also affecting Voestalspine rivals Thyssenkrupp and Salzgitter.

Eder said tariffs had so far had a negative impact on Voestalpine in the single-digit million euro range. The group makes 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in annual sales in the United States, a 10th of group revenues.

Eder told Reuters last month that the group was shifting part of its production for the automotive industry from the United States to Mexico to avoid the tariffs.

Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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