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Trade war

Japan steelmakers struggle to win tariff waivers from US

Only 40% receive exemption as government shutdown slows process

A Nippon Steel plant in Oita Prefecture. The U.S. has tended to grant waivers for high-performance steel products not available from American manufacturers. (Photo courtesy of Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal)

TOKYO -- Washington has awarded exemptions for Japanese products to the U.S. steel tariffs imposed last March in just over 40% of the waiver requests made by American importers, with nearly as many cases still waiting on a decision.

About 3,900 of the roughly 9,400 applications submitted by American buyers received approval from the U.S. Commerce Department as of Feb. 22, while 2,000 were denied, according to Japan's industry ministry.

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