The United States government reported that it reduced the quota for imports of semi-finished steel products from Brazil by 83%, to 60,000 tons by 2020.
After releasing the announcement on Monday, the White House Trade Representation (USTR) noted that Brazil and the United States have had successful bilateral talks on the steel trade.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump granted an exemption for Brazilian steel products from the tariffs he imposed under Section 232, which allowed duty-free importation of established quotas of various Brazilian steel products.
“The exemption was maintained in 2019 as a result of a constructive dialogue between Presidents Bolsonaro and Trump. In light of the recent deterioration in market conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic affecting domestic steel producers, the United States has deemed it necessary to reduce the remaining quota for Brazilian semi-finished steel products for the remainder of 2020 ”, the USTR said in a statement.
Likewise, the USTR will maintain the existing quotas for other steel products.
“The United States will hold consultations with Brazil on the semi-finished steel quota for 2021 in December, at which point we expect market conditions to have improved,” added the USTR.
The United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, thanked the Brazilian government for the constructive dialogue on this matter: “Despite the challenges that our two countries face due to Covid-19, the discussions between the United States and Brazil on strengthening of our commercial relationship for the future is progressing very well ”, he said.
On the other hand, according to the USTR, Mexico and the United States have successfully concluded the consultations carried out in accordance with the mechanism established in their Joint Declaration of May 17, 2019 to address the recent increases in imports from Mexico of three products. steel: standard pipe, mechanical pipe and semi-finished products.
Mexico will establish a strict export monitoring regime for these products until June 1, 2021 and will closely monitor shipments during this period.
The United States will maintain the Section 232 tariff exemption for imports of these products and will consult with Mexico in December 2020 to discuss the status of trade in the relevant products in light of market conditions at that time.
Lighthizer praised the Mexican government and its counterpart, Economy Secretary Graciela Márquez Colín, for their cooperation and constructive engagement.
“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 demonstrate that we can 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 commitment and hard work during the last weeks as we work on this issue ”. Lighthizer said.