Philippines' SteelAsia sees 'no direct impact' from US-China trade row

Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 05 2018 07:57 AM

A commercial establishment undergoes construction in Iloilo City on December 19, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippines' largest steel rebar maker said it saw "no direct impact" from a plan by US President Donald Trump to raise tariffs on the metal.

Targeting China, Trump last week said he was imposing a 25-percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, sparking fears of a global trade war.

"The Philippines is not a big trading partner of the US for steel. So, there will be no direct impact," SteelAsia president Adrian Cristobal Jr. said in a statement Sunday.

"We don’t believe there will be supply issues for construction steel as a result of the new US policy," Cristobal said.

SteelAsia manufactures cylindrical steel bars or rebars that are used in construction.

Cristobal said the new US policy might even benefit the Philippines since steel products meant for the US could be diverted to Asia and other markets.