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US steel protections put Japan's JFE at risk of collateral damage

Planned curbs would push China's exports toward company's Asian turf

JFE, which runs this steelworks in Japan, is keen to expand abroad.

TOKYO -- After a stellar nine months through December, Japanese steelmaker JFE Holdings faces a number of risk factors that could interrupt its momentum. One is sitting in the White House.

U.S. President Donald Trump is considering restrictions on imports of steel and aluminum. Since the main target of the proposed curbs is China, the direct impact on JFE is expected to be limited. But if Chinese steel is essentially shut out of the U.S., it is likely to flow into other Asian countries, dragging down prices.

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