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Argentina sets tariffs on all exports, including steel

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Argentina sets tariffs on all exports, including steel

Sao Paulo — The Argentinian government imposed tariffs on all exports, including steel products, to avoid a great percentage of exported products following the country's currency devaluation in the past week, President Mauricio Macri said Monday.

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The tariff varies between primary products and finished products. For primary products, for every $1 exported, a duty of Argentinian Pesos 4 is charged, while for finished products, for every $1 exported a duty of Pesos 3 is charged.

No breakdown was provided for categories of primary or finished products.

"We know that it is a bad tariff, very bad, that goes against what we want to encourage, which is more exports to encourage more work," Macri said in a video. "But I have to ask them to understand that it is an emergency and we need your input."

Besides the tariffs, Macri said the government will cut its ministries more than 50% and decrease public spending by 4%. All measures are already in place. The goal is to advance the fiscal deficit reduction to zero already in 2019, first expected for 2020.

Argentina is subject to a quota for steel exports to the US under Section 232 as well as aluminum imports. Argentina is able to export 180,000 mt/year of value-added steel and 180,000 mt/year aluminum to the US without facing tariffs.

So far in 2018, Argentina exported 86,054 mt of steel products to the US, down 11.9% from 97,747 mt in the same period of 2017. From January to December 2017, Argentina exported 211,465 mt of steel products to the US -- the highest annual figure since 2013.

Argentina plays an important role supplying finished steel to South American markets. The country does not provide official custom data.

--Guilherme Baida, guilherme.baida@spglobal.com

--Edited by Valarie Jackson, valarie.jackson@spglobal.com