TISCO's export volume of stainless steel products has increased by 6 percent in the first half of 2018. [Photo: CGTN]
"Irreplaceable." That's how one American client describes the steel products from the Taiyuan Iron and Steel Company (TISCO). Located in north China's Shanxi Province, it's one of China's largest steel groups with a history of more than 70 years. Its annual production capacity is up to 10 million tons.
Wang Tianxiang, manager of the TISCO Steel Precision Strip Company, says they have an American client who buys up to 140 tons of steel products each month. But after the US imposed a 25-percent tariff on imported steel products, due to cost concerns, the client suspended business with TISCO for about two months.
"But it turned out that they couldn't find another supplier as good as us. So eventually they resumed our arrangement and decided to pay 70 percent of the new tariff, while our agent took the other 30 percent," Wang told CGTN.
Wang also explained why many foreign importers prefer Chinese steel products.
"They believe China's products are irreplaceable in the global supply chain. They prefer Chinese suppliers because our products combine good quality with the best prices," he said.
Rising tariffs are not new for TISCO. Over the past few years, it has experienced America's frequent anti-dumping measures against China's steel industry. As TISCO started adjusting its global market layout years ago, it now has a much smaller export volume to the US.
Manager Zhang Tengxiang is from the International Trade Department of TISCO Marketing Center. He stated, "In recent years, while we've maintained our traditional export markets, we've focused more on exploring new emerging markets in countries and regions along the Belt and Road, including Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the CIS countries."
TISCO also spent more efforts on making technological breakthroughs, believing it's vital for staying competitive. Now the company has produced more high-end products that few other companies in the world can even manufacture, like the stainless steel foil. It's one fourth as thick as a piece of a paper and can be widely used in many high-end industries.
Thanks to these efforts, TISCO's total export volume in the first half of 2018 increased 10 percent. However, TISCO says they will keep an eye on any move of trade protectionism around the world and prepare for the impact.