Saturday, 07 December, 2019


Trump Brings Back Steel Tariffs on Brazil, Argentina

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a Trump to restore tariffs on steel, aluminum from Brazil, Argentina
Bennie Garza | 02 December, 2019, 22:36

Mr Trump accused Argentina and Brazil of "presiding over a massive devaluation" - with exports of both countries being now cheaper and more competitive due to the weak currency.

U.S. President Donald Trump ambushed Brazil and Argentina on Monday, announcing he would restore tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports from the two countries in apparent retaliation for currency weakness he said was hurting U.S. farmers.

At its most recent meeting, in October, the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates for a third time this year to try to support the US economy.

Last year, after having accused the two South American countries of weakening their currencies to get an unfair advantage, the U.S. president imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent duty on aluminum.

In exchange, he received tepid USA support for Brazil's bid to enter the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, while Argentina has received full endorsement for membership. Macri lost his re-election bid in October and will leave office on December 10. "Brazil is making gesture after gesture to support the U.S.in worldwide forums, but the U.S.is not doing the same", Barbosa said. He has exempted American tourists from visas to visit Brazil, allowed the U.S.to launch satellites from Brazil and made it easier for Brazilians to buy American wheat and ethanol.

Trump has lobbied allies to avoid Huawei over worries its equipment might help Chinese electronic spying.

"The Federal Reserve should likewise act so that countries, of which there are many, no longer take advantage of our strong dollar", Trump tweeted. "Argentina also and I gave them a big break on tariffs, but now I'm taking that break off because its very unfair to our manufacturers and very unfair to our farmers".

Trump has repeatedly assailed the Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, over his leadership and for not cutting interest rates as much as the Republican president would like. A source familiar with Brasilia's reaction rejected the US claim of currency manipulation, noting the central bank was working to lift the real.

Argentina's production ministry said in a statement the country has exported around $520 million in steel and aluminum to the United States so far this year after exporting $700 million in 2018. It has laid off workers and shut down some of its blast furnaces.

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