The following is an excerpt from Liz Hampton | August 28, 2018 | reuters.com |
HOUSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department recently granted a tariff exemption to oil major Chevron (CVX.N) for its imports of 4.5-inch Japanese steel tubes for oil exploration.
But the department rejected a similar request from Borusan Mannesmann Pipe to exclude 4.5-inch steel pipes imported from Turkey for casing used to line new oil wells.
The reason: multiple U.S. steelmakers objected to Borusan’s application, arguing they could supply the product, according to the department. Chevron drew no such objections.
When U.S. President Donald Trump slapped a 25 percent tariff on imported steel this spring, his administration allowed companies to apply for exemptions if needed metals were not available in sufficient quality, quantity or in a reasonable time.
But the process for seeking relief is proving slow and controversial as a deluge of applications has buried the small staff initially assigned to the task, prompting the department to hire dozens of extra contract workers. The limited number of decisions made so far are drawing protests from rejected applicants and sparking disputes between U.S. steel mills and importers of products from their foreign competitors.
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