The government and industries in Japan have raised a sense of caution over measures invoked by the United States on Friday to restrict steel and aluminum imports. Although many experts say the direct repercussions on Japanese companies will be limited, some say this could be a blow to Japanese steelmakers, among others, if products that they become unable to export to the United States wind up flooding the market, driving prices down dramatically. Many Japanese car makers have factories in the United States. If additional tariffs are imposed on steel or aluminum when they procure these materials from abroad, there is a possibility that it will lead to an increase in production costs. However, the measures are applied to a wide range of countries.
Toyota Motor Corp. said that effects would be limited as 90 percent of its materials, including those for car bodies, are locally purchased. Only seven steel exporters, including Canada and the European Union, are exempted from the tariffs. The government intends to continuously ask the United States to exempt Japanese products from the measures. The procedure for exemptions from the measures by product has begun in the United States, and Japan’s public and private sectors continue to seek exemptions.