Steel Imports from Mexico to the United States: Senators Alert

A group of 13 U.S. senators alerted President Joe Biden’s administration about the increase in steel imports to the United States from Mexico.

According to them, the growth of these imports would be violating an agreement between the two nations signed in 2019.

Therefore, they urged the White House Trade Representation (USTR) and the Department of Commerce (DOC) to remedy this breach.

Their approach was set forth in a letter signed on February 14 and addressed to Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary Gina Raimondo.

The Senators argued that an «unsustainable increase» in Mexican steel imports, particularly steel conduit, occurred in violation of the 2019 U.S.-Mexico Joint Statement on Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs.

The United States lifted its 25% tariffs on Mexican steel imports in May 2019.

The previous administration reduced these tariffs as part of an agreement that stipulates that if steel imports «increase significantly beyond historical trade volumes…the importing party may impose tariffs of 25%… with respect to the individual product or products in which the increase occurred.»

Steel imports

Since the U.S. lifted Section 232 tariffs, Mexican imports of steel pipe have reached unprecedented levels and Mexico’s penetration of the U.S. steel steel conduit market has more than tripled, while U.S. consumer demand has declined.

The Senators assert that the increase in Mexican iron and steel for 2019-2022 is the largest of any iron and steel exporter to the United States.

In fact, the volume of Mexico’s annual iron and steel imports has increased approximately 73 percent over the pre-Section 232 baseline (2015-2017), imports of semi-finished steel and long products have increased 120 percent, and imports of steel steel conduit have increased 577 percent.

According to the senators, a recent Customs and Border Protection (CBP) investigation revealed that importers misclassified Mexican steel pipe exports, concealing this extraordinary increase.

The surge in Mexican steel imports has already contributed to the loss of more than 200 steel jobs in California and has led to the closure of one of less than 12 U.S. mills producing steel pipe.


Redacción Opportimes