UAE expects positive tariff negotiations outcome with the US

by David Fleschen

United Arab Emirates expects a favourable outcome next year in discussions with US authorities over being exempted from Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminium, according to UAE economy minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori.

Speaking to local media at an event this week in Abu Dhabi, the minister said: “We will continue to go and explain our case because it is a very strong case. When it comes to the bilateral trade it is in favour of the US highly.” US Secretary of Commerce Willbur Ross has told UAE government representatives that US authorities would look into the issue, he added.

US steel imports from UAE declined -24% on-year in the nine months through September to 165,692 tonnes, of which 47% were flat products, according to US Department of Commerce data. Full-year 2017 imports reached a record-high 273,619t.

The tariffs have been more harmful to UAE aluminium than steel as UAE is the third-largest exporter of aluminium to the US. UAE is one of the US’ largest export markets in the Middle East, with Emirates and Etihad Airways big buyers of Boeing aircraft and the government a large purchaser of US defence equipment.

Speaking about the UAE economy, Al Mansouri said the recently-enacted foreign direct investment law will boost the investment environment. “We anticipate investments in the UAE to grow from 15% to 20% in 2019. The new law is a pivotal step in the UAE’s efforts to strengthen the legislative system in the country,” he is quoted as saying.

source: Kallanish, photo: fotoalia

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