Trump Announces Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum From Brazil and Argentina

Trump Announces Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum From Brazil and Argentina
President Donald Trump leaves the Oval Office to make a statement announcing that a deal has been reached to reopen the government through Feb. 15 during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House on Jan. 25, 2019. (Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

Brazil and Argentina will face American tariffs on steel and aluminum, President Donald Trump announced early Dec. 2.

“Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers. Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“The Federal Reserve should likewise act so that countries, of which there are many, no longer take advantage of our strong dollar by further devaluing their currencies. This makes it very hard for our manufactures & farmers to fairly export their goods. Lower Rates & Loosen - Fed!” he added.

Speaking to reporters in Washington later in the day, Trump said that Brazil has “they’ve devalued their currency very substantially by 10 percent. Argentina also.”

“And I gave them a big break on tariffs but now I’m taking that break off because it’s very unfair to our manufacturers and very unfair to our farmers. Our steel companies will be very happy, and our farmers will be very happy,” Trump added.

Tariffs against the countries were implemented in March 2018 but they were removed about five months later.

Both countries, especially Brazil, have been seen as American allies during the Trump presidency.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro told reporters on Monday he would discuss the tariffs with his economy minister who then might discuss them with Trump.

“If needed, I can also talk to Trump, I have an open channel with him,” he said.

Trump has been implementing or threatening tariffs against a number of countries in an attempt he describes as rebalancing an unfair global trade imbalance.

Trump has repeatedly said that other countries have been unfairly exploiting the United States for years and the tariffs are a way to combat that.

In another missive Monday morning, Trump said: “U.S. Markets are up as much as 21% since the announcement of Tariffs on 3/1/2018 - and the U.S. is taking in massive amounts of money (and giving some to our farmers, who have been targeted by China)!”