Tariffs on steel and aluminum: why did Trump choose Brazil and Argentina?


According to Professor Federico Vaccarezza, the reasons behind the new tariffs have different reasons than those put forward by US President Donald Trump. About them the teacher spoke with Sputnik.

Nine months ago, in March 2018, the US president announced controversial tariffs on steel and aluminum. At that time, the decision that responded to a policy of reducing the country's trade deficit affected several nations, including Argentina and Brazil.

But after hard negotiations both were exempt. Argentina, whose exports of these metals reached 700 million dollars annually to the United States, was released first. Shortly after Brazil – the main exporter of steel to the world's first economy – managed to be left out after claiming "complementarity in the productive chains" between the two States.
However, this Monday, the South Americans returned to the scene after Trump announced via Twitter that he would restore the rates set in 2018 at 25% to steel and 10% to aluminum.

"Brazil and Argentina have strongly devalued their currencies, which is not good for our farmers. Therefore, with immediate validity, I will restore the rates of all steel and aluminum sent to the US from those countries," he published on the network Social.

Asked by Sputnik, Professor Federico Vaccarezza, master in International Commercial Relations, questioned that this was the main motivation. He also recalled that the US has a surplus with both countries but this is reversed in the metals sector, in which Brazil in fact left it with a deficit of 3,100 million dollars in 2018 for its steel exports.

"Now it also has a deficit with Russia in steel for 2,800 million, with Canada for 1,200 million, with Korea for another 1,200 million dollars or with Germany for 1,100 million and Japan for 1,000 million dollars," he said.

Despite this, none of the aforementioned was affected by the measure, which for the expert has to do with the strength of the opponents.

"These economies do not have the relatively weak weight that Brazil has. The retaliations that Russia can do, or that Canada, Korea, Germany or Japan can do, are much harder in the scheme of alliances that they can unleash to defend against Trump That is, the president says "who can I cut? Germany I can't, I can't Russia. Who can I? What can Brazil do to me? Nothing," then it cuts to Brazil, "he said.

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