US measures against Brazilian steel ‘hurt concept’ of fair trade, Aço Brasil says

The inclusion of Brazil-origin goods in forthcoming US tariffs on imports does not meet what it considers to be a fair trade relationship, Brazilian steel institute Aço Brasil said on Friday March 2.

US President Donald Trump will sign off on tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminium imports at some point next week and keep them in place for a “long” period, he confirmed during a meeting with steel and aluminium executives yesterday.

Brazil had hoped to avoid being included in the measures that follow the US Section 232 investigation into steel and aluminium imports – Aço Brasil sent a delegation to the United States earlier this week to seek exemption.

“Brazil has been surprised by the possibility of being included in the list of 12 countries that could be affected by a 53% import tariff,” the association said.

“The announcement [on Thursday ] that Brazil will be framed in the 25% steel import tariff corrects this distortion but still does not meet what we consider to be a fair trade relationship,” it added. “Therefore, Brazil will appeal.”

Following the announcement, Brazil’s foreign trade ministry, MDIC, said that the country’s government will look for ways to avoid being included in any measures related to the US Section 232 investigation into metals imports.

The Brazilian government expects to work constructively with the US to avoid the possible application of import tariffs, which would bring significant losses to metals producers and consumers in both countries, MDIC minister Marcos Jorge said.

It does not rule out possible complementary actions, in the multilateral and bilateral scope, to preserve its interests in this case, he added.