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US reinstates tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Brazil, Argentina

The US has reinstated tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina with immediate effect, on currency issues, US President Donald Trump tweeted early Monday.

"Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies. which is not good for our farmers. Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries," Trump tweeted.

The Trump administration imposed a blanket 25% tariff on all steel imports, and of 10% on all aluminum imports, in March 2018 under Section 232 legislation, alleging that these imports posed a security risk to the US economy.

In June 2018, the restrictions on Brazil and Argentinian steel and aluminum were converted to a quota system. These imports from both countries were exempted from the quota and tariffs system in May 2019, at the same time as imports from Canada and Mexico were exempted.

Last week the Brazilian real slumped to an all-time low against the US dollar, leading analysts to dub it one of the worst-performing emerging market currencies this year. The Argentine peso has also plunged against the US dollar in recent months after business-friendly president Mauricio Macri failed to gain reelection, losing out to a populist Peronist successor.

According to Trump's tweet, "Reserve should likewise act so that countries, of which there are many, no longer take advantage of our strong dollar by further devaluing their currencies. This makes it very hard for our manufactures & farmers to fairly export their goods."

"U.S. Markets are up as much as 21% since the announcement of Tariffs on 3/1/2018," Trump said.

-- Diana Kinch and Viral Shah, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Andrew Critchlow, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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