Sunday, 19 January, 2020


Trump says he'll slap tariffs on Argentina, Brazil, says they're manipulating currencies

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Sunrise Fla. Tuesday Nov. 26 2019 President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Sunrise Fla. Tuesday Nov. 26 2019
Bennie Garza | 04 December, 2019, 21:58

"Effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the United States from those countries".

USA farmers represent a key demographic for Trump ahead of the November 2020 election, and they have watched in vain as the trade dispute has hurt the competitiveness of US agricultural products, allowing their Brazilian and Argentine peers to get rich off China.

In fact, the opposite is true: Both countries have actively been trying to strengthen their respective currencies against the dollar.

Barbosa suggested Trump's failure to respond to Bolsonaro's attempts to improve ties could affect Brazil's decision on whether to buy 5G wireless technology from China's Huawei.

"On mid-2018, Brazil and Argentina were able to negotiate a quota to their steel exports that exempts both countries from the 25 percent import tariff", a Goldman Sachs report stated. That's more than the 53,000 workers in the USA coal mining industry, according to government data. But it recovered to trade stronger at 4.2230 per U.S. dollar.

"I hope that he understands and does not penalize us", Bolsonaro said in a radio interview. "If a deal cannot be reached by the end of this week, I do not see how USMCA can be ratified in 2019", said chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican. "If needed, I can also talk to Trump, I have an open channel with him", he added as he left the presidential palace. "I hope that he understands.and I'm nearly certain he'll listen to us", he said.

Bolsonaro's fidelity to Trump is such that he wanted to appoint his own son Eduardo as ambassador to Washington, which was only reversed after Brazilian senators insisted the 35-year-old lawmaker would not be approved.

In a second Twitter post, Trump signalled that he wants the USA central bank to do something about suppressed currencies.

Trump followed up Monday by touting his China tariffs, claiming "U.S. Markets are up as much as 21% since the announcement of Tariffs". Lighthizer said his office "is focused on countering the growing protectionism of European Union member states, which unfairly targets US companies, whether through digital services taxes or other efforts that target leading USA digital services companies".

Argentine Production Minister Dante Sica said Trump's announcement was "unexpected" and he was seeking talks with United States officials. "I think we'll probably be able to work it out but we have a big trade relationship and I'm sure that within a short period of time things will be looking very rosy".

President Trump is reimposing steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil and Argentina.

Trump's accusation that the Brazilian and Argentine currencies were being artificially devalued was met with widespread skepticism. Brazil has intervened multiple times in the past month to support its devaluing real.

The president went on to say the Federal Reserve should "act likewise", so many other countries stop taking advantage of the USA dollar by further devaluing their currencies.

Trump has repeatedly urged the USA central bank to lower rates to below zero, arguing that negative rates in Europe and elsewhere give those countries a competitive advantage.

Trump has repeatedly urged the US central bank to lower rates to below zero, but Fed policymakers have been reluctant. Fed policy makers hold their next meeting on December 10-11.

Brazil's Steel Institute said it was perplexed by Trump's decision. It said in a statement that Brazil's government could not be meddling with the real as the currency is free-floating.

AK Steel Holding Corp. rose 6.9% in NY. It did not provide specifics on what tariffs it might hike over the long-running dispute.

Shares of Ternium Argentina TXAR.BA slumped 5.5% after Trump's tweet, with JP Morgan noting it is the most exposed steelmaker in Latin America to the tariff move. The shares pared some losses to trade down 2.9% in afternoon.

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