US President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union address.
JOHANNESBURG - US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to impose tariffs on imports of on aluminum will hurt the local industry, Rentia Malan, acting executive director for the Aluminum Federation of South Africa said.

“It (the tariff) will not benefit the industry, and is definitely negative,” said Malan, whose federation represents 100 companies.

Trump has called for a steep global tariff of 25 percent on imports of steel and of 10 percent on imports of aluminum in a move to protect the US steel industry from foreign competition. The duties will be applicable to all importers.

South Africa’s aluminium supplier and exporter, Hulamin, declined to comment, saying it “can't comment definitively until we've seen the final legislative changes”

The move has reportedly threatened to unleash a global trade war and was expected to provoke retaliation from China, the world’s biggest steel and aluminum producer.