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President Trump Continues to Protect America’s Steel-Dependent National Security

August 31, 2020

Washington, DC – Since the beginning of his Administration, President Donald J. Trump has fought to protect American workers and the American steel industry. Today, the United States announces additional measures to address steel imports with two key trading partners – Mexico and Brazil.  Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States continues to engage cooperatively with trading partners while acting responsibly to protect industries vital to our national security.

USTR Statements on Successful Conclusion of Steel Negotiations

Mexico and the United States have successfully concluded consultations held pursuant to the mechanism established in their Joint Statement of May 17, 2019 to address recent surges in imports from Mexico of three steel products: standard pipe, mechanical tubing, and semi-finished products.  Mexico will establish a strict export monitoring regime for these products through June 1, 2021 and closely monitor shipments during this period.  The United States will maintain the Section 232 duty exemption for imports of these products and will consult with Mexico in December of 2020 to discuss the state of trade in the relevant products in light of market conditions at that time.   
The United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, praised the Mexican government and his counterpart, Secretary of Economy 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 prove it is possible for us to 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 engagement and hard work over the last few weeks as we worked through this issue.”


Brazil and the United States have held successful talks regarding the steel trade between the two countries.  In May of 2018, President Trump granted an exemption for Brazilian steel products from tariffs he imposed under Section 232, which allowed for duty-free importation of set quotas of various Brazilian steel products. The exemption was maintained in 2019 as the result of a constructive dialogue between Presidents Bolsonaro and Trump.  In light of recent deterioration in market conditions brought on 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 to 60,000 metric tons, down from 350,000, but will maintain existing quotas for other steel products.  The United States will hold consultations with Brazil about the semi-finished steel quota for 2021 in December, by which time we hope market conditions will have improved. 
The United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, thanked the Brazilian government for the constructive dialogue in this matter:  “Despite the challenges both of our countries face from COVID-19, discussions between the United States and Brazil on strengthening our trade relationship for the future are proceeding nicely.  I thank Minister Ernesto Araújo for his willingness to discuss the state of the steel trade between our countries over the past few weeks.  Our successful talks on this matter prove the value of candid, good faith engagement between trade partners.”