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LatinNews Daily - 09 December 2019

Argentina and Brazil react to steel import tariffs imposed by US

Brazil/Argentina: On 2 December, US President Donald Trump announced that he would re-impose tariffs on Brazilian and Argentine steel and aluminium imports, accusing both countries of “presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies”.  Argentina and Brazil were both exempted from the 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminium imposed by the Trump administration in 2018. Argentina’s production & labour minister, Dante Sica, and foreign minister, Jorge Faurie, immediately requested a meeting with US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The Brazilian government led by President Jair Bolsonaro played down concerns, with the foreign, agriculture, and economy ministries saying that the Bolsonaro administration would defend Brazil’s commercial interests and was already in discussion with representatives in Washington. Bolsonaro insisted that he saw no risk to harmonious bilateral relations between the US and Brazil and that he would personally talk to Trump if necessary, although he has since rejected Trump’s allegations of currency manipulation. Brazil’s economy minister, Paulo Guedes, had a stronger reaction: on 4 December he described the move as a “big mistake”.

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