US Temporarily Suspends Tariffs On Ukraine Steel Imports

Smoke rises above the Azovstal steel plant in the city of Mariupol on April 29, 2022, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine. Andrey BORODULIN / AFP

 

The United States on Monday suspended for one year the tariffs imposed on Ukrainian steel imports, a move designed to help the war-torn nation’s economy.

In the wake of the dramatic evacuation of civilians sheltering in a steel plant in Mariupol after Russian forces bombarded the port city, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo hailed the importance of the industry that continues to operate and employ one in every 13 Ukrainians, providing them with an “economic lifeline.”

“We can’t just admire the fortitude and spirit of the Ukrainian people — we need to have their backs and support one of the most important industries to Ukraine’s economic well-being,” Raimondo said in a statement.

“For steel mills to continue as an economic lifeline for the people of Ukraine, they must be able to export their steel.”

The 25 percent tariff on steel was imposed in March 2018 to protect domestic industry, although a handful of countries were exempted.

Lawmakers and business leaders had called on US President Joe Biden to remove the duties to help ease the economic blow to the Ukrainian economy.

Raimondo said the move was “a signal to the Ukrainian people that we are committed to helping them thrive in the face of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s aggression.”

Ukraine accounts for only about one percent of US steel imports, according to the Commerce Department.

American firms purchased 218,000 tonnes of steel from Ukraine in 2019, but that figure was down to only about 100,000 tonnes last year.

AFP

Nigeria Customs Seize Container Of Ready To Eat Food

Nigeria Customs Seize Container Of Ready To Eat FoodThe Nigeria Customs Service, Tincan Island Port have seized a 20ft container of “Ready To Eat” preparations like – Egusi Soup, Jollof Rice, Ogbono, and Yam Porridge, imported from India.

This was disclosed by the Customs Area Comptroller, Bashar Yusuf, during a session with some stakeholders in his office recently.

The comptroller, who stressed that the command would continue to explore all avenues for maximum revenue collection, in view of the exigencies of the moment, also revealed that the service has generated 25.7 billion in the month of November, 2016.

Addressing stakeholders at the premises of SDV/SCOA where he had gone to handover the seized ready-to-eat food, the comptroller described the scenario as an aberration, considering the fact that the Federal Government of Nigeria has granted zero duty for the importation of machinery for the packaging of agricultural products into the country.

Speaking further, he charged would-be investors to look at the export potentials which abound in the country and take advantage of some for their socio-economic benefits.

In a related development, while briefing a group of senior officers undergoing a training programme in the command, the comptroller admonished them to see professionalism, integrity and transparency as their watchwords, while also ensuring effective leadership and supervision in their areas of official duty.

He stated categorically that the various trade facilitation tools as provided in the automation of Customs procedures would guide them in the discharge of their functions.

He also charged them to see training and re-training as a veritable tool that would sharpen their reflexes towards achieving desired results.

He also expressed appreciation with the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), for effectively re-positioning the service to the extent that despite the global recession, NCS is still working tirelessly to remain on top of their statutory mandate.

“In this era and dispensation, officers are expected to be above board with a deep sense of commitment and responsibility in the discharge of their functions”, Yusuf said.

He added that the change ideology of the comptroller general must be given priority attention and warned that failure to key into the new order would be seriously sanctioned.