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Trump Reinstating Brazil Steel Tariffs to Help US Rebar Makers

Dec. 2, 2019
17% of steel products imported to the US in the first 10 months of the year came from Brazil.

President Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate tariffs on steel from Brazil should provide cheer to U.S. rebar producers, according to BMO Capital Markets.

Commercial Metals Co. is among the companies set to benefit from the curbs on Brazilian steel shipments, said Colin Hamilton, an analyst at BMO.

The tariffs on the second-biggest foreign steel supplier to the U.S. have been restored with immediate effect, Trump said in a Twitter post on Monday. The blow to the Brazilian steel industry comes as the U.S. Commerce Department weighs tougher monitoring of supplies from Canada and Mexico.

Brazil supplied about 17% of the steel products imported by the U.S. in the first 10 months of this year, according to U.S. trade data. Shipments to the U.S. accounted for 14% of the South American nation’s steel production.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he will discuss the tariff issue with Economy Minister Paulo Guedes and, if need be, with Trump.

Trump also reinstated tariffs on aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina, as well as Argentinian steel as both countries “have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies.” That shouldn’t have a significant impact on the aluminum market, according to Hamilton.

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