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August 31, 2020

After Threatening Tariffs, U.S. President Places Caps On Brazilian Steel Imports

As Yahoo Finance reported, in a proclamation released late in the evening on Friday, August 28, President Donald Trump reduced the amount of steel that the United States can import from Brazil. The president said the U.S. Secretary of Commerce had advised him “that there have been significant changes in the United States steel market since the time I decided to exclude, on a long-term basis, Brazil from” his Section 232 metals tariffs. (After issuing his Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, in 2018 the Trump administration reached a deal with Brazil that set quotas on imports of Brazilian steel.)

President Trump noted, “The United States steel market has contracted in 2020” and “after increasing in 2018 and 2019, steel shipments by domestic producers through June of this year are approximately 15 percent lower than shipments for the same time period in 2019, with shipments in April and May of this year more than 30 percent lower than the shipments in the same months in 2019.”

Without specifying exactly which products the new policy applied to, the proclamation said the cap would be in place for the remainder of 2020. Brazil’s annual cap will revert to its previous level in 2021 “unless that limit is further modified or terminated.” President Trump, who in recent months had threated to impose 25 percent tariffs on Brazilian imports, said, “The United States and Brazil will hold further consultations in December 2020 to discuss the state of the steel trade between the two countries in light of then-prevailing market conditions.”

Click here to read the full proclamation.