New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) The government today said India’s prospects to become a top steel exporter depends on a range of factors, including competitiveness and demand, and will not be impacted by the trade barriers the US has put on imports, the government said today.

Last month, US President Donald Trump imposed high tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and defended his step by saying that it was necessary to boost the US industry hit by “unfair” business practices, a move that has ignited fears of a global trade war. The US decided to impose 25 per cent import tariff on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium.

Minister of State for Steel Vishnu Deo Sai said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, “The exports to the US constitute only about 2.6 of India’s total exports of steel.

The minister said the US move to impose high tariffs on steel imports will not have an impact on India’s aim to become a leading steel exporter.

To a question if the country’s ambition to become a major steel exporter could be disrupted due to import curbs, Sai said, “No… India’s ambition to become a major steel exporter depends on a number of factors which include demand in the foreign markets, its competitiveness and domestic demand.” Instead, the exports of total finished steel from India have increased by 84 per cent to 10.87 million tonnes (MT) in the January-December 2017 from 5.90 MT the corresponding period of last year, he added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.