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September 14, 2020

United States Won’t Impose Tariffs On Mexican Steel While Mexico Will Monitor Product Exports

The United States and Mexico recently announced that they have successfully concluded consultations regarding recent surges in imports from Mexico of three steel products: standard pipe, mechanical tubing, and semi-finished products. Specifically, Mexico has agreed to establish a strict export monitoring regime for these products through June 1, 2021 and to closely monitor shipments during this period. In exchange, the United States will maintain the Section 232 duty exemption for imports of these products and will consult with Mexico in December of 2020 to discuss the state of trade in the relevant products in light of market conditions at that time.

In a statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, praised the Mexican government and his counterpart, Secretary of Economy Graciela Márquez Colín, for their cooperation and constructive engagement. Ambassador Lighthizer said, “While the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged both of our countries in unprecedented ways, it has also underscored the importance of the strong economic partnership between the United States and Mexico and the need for close coordination to address common challenges. Our successful consultations on steel prove it is possible for us to work together to find creative solutions that serve the interests of workers and businesses in both countries. I thank my friend Secretary Márquez and her staff for their engagement and hard work over the last few weeks as we worked through this issue.”

According to FastmarketsAMM (subscription required), the Mexican government said, ““In order to avoid triangulation in trade in certain steel products between Mexico and the United States of America, it is necessary to implement a prior automatic permit scheme in which the exporter provides the minimum elements to determine that they are actually steel goods produced in Mexico.”