Trump Ties Brazil, Argentina Steel Tariffs to U.S. Farm Woes


(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here.

President Donald Trump is reinstating tariffs on steel and aluminum from Argentina and Brazil, nations he criticized for cheapening their currencies to the detriment of U.S. farmers, and he again called on the Federal Reserve to loosen monetary policy.

Linking his trade agenda with his Fed criticism in an early morning tweet, he said the two South American countries "have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies. which is not good for our farmers."

The president's action amounts to retaliation against two nations that have become alternative suppliers of soybeans and other agricultural products to China, grabbing market share away from the U.S. Rural voters, including farmers, are a key constituency for Trump as he heads into the 2020 presidential elections.

While the steel tariffs could crimp trade, the Latin American countries gain much more shipping crops to Chinese buyers. In the first 10 months of the year, Brazil has shipped $25.5 billion in farm products including soybeans and pork to China. That's more than 10 times the value of steel and iron product sold to the U.S.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said he would talk to his economy minister before reacting to Trump's comments on the Brazilian real and the imposition of steel tariffs. "If needed, I can also talk to Trump, I have an open channel with him," he added as he left the presidential palace.

In the case of Argentina, soybean shipments to China totaled $2.4 billion in 2017, more than triple the value of the South American nation's aluminum and iron pipe exports to the U.S. As the trade war between Beijing and Washington escalated, China boosted imports of the oilseed to $2.5 billion in the first 10 months of 2019, Chinese customs data show.

In a second Twitter post, Trump signaled that he wants the U.S. central bank to do something about suppressed currencies.

Argentina's peso plunged earlier this year on election results putting a left-wing candidate in the presidency. Brazil has intervened multiple times in the past month to support its devaluing real.

Trump has long grumbled about the dollar's strength and urged the Fed to abandon decades of precedent and act to weaken the greenback. The U.S. government's dollar policy has traditionally been directed by the Treasury Department. That has prompted fears that the U.S. could lead the world into an era of weaponized monetary policy.

While such a currency war hasn't happened yet, Monday's move marks the first time Trump has linked the imposition of tariffs explicitly to currency movements. As such, it signifies a potential new phase in his trade wars in which foreign-exchange markets are the battleground.

Stocks, Forex Moves

The U.S. has imported about 3.8 million metric tons of steel from Brazil so far this year, most of which are slab, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The South American nation's steel accounts for about 3.5% of the 110 million tons consumed in the U.S. a year.

The Brazilian real strengthened 0.2% to 4.2267 per dollar at 9:23 a.m. in New York.

The reinstatement of tariffs will boost U.S. steel prices, benefiting domestic producers, while hurting manufacturers in Brazil.

AK Steel Holding Corp. rose 3.3% at 9:38 a.m. in New York. U.S. Steel Corp. was up 1.8%, and Steel Dynamics Inc. gained 1%.

The American depositary receipts of Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau rose 0.6%. The company runs plants in the U.S.

In March 2018, Trump authorized a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% duty on aluminum -- import barriers that heralded the start of his administration's hawkish push on trade -- after a government report found that foreign shipments of the metals imperil national-security interests.

He then directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to negotiate with countries seeking to turn their temporary tariff exemptions into permanent ones.

In August last year, he gave South Korea, Brazil and Argentina targeted relief from quotas imposed on inbound steel shipments to protect U.S. producers. The move allowed buyers to request exemptions for imports from key suppliers.

(Adds background beginning third paragraph.)

--With assistance from Shawn Donnan, Courtney Dentch, Mario Sergio Lima, Walter Brandimarte, Jonathan Gilbert, James Attwood and Pratish Narayanan.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brendan Murray in London at;Joe Deaux in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Kennedy at, Luzi Ann Javier, Joe Richter

For more articles like this, please visit us at

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


More Related News

AP FACT CHECK: False claims flood Trump-Biden debate
AP FACT CHECK: False claims flood Trump-Biden debate

President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of fabrications and fear-mongering in a belligerent debate with Joe Biden, at one point claiming the U.S. death toll would have been 10 times higher under the Democrat because he wanted open borders in the pandemic. Biden preached no such thing. Biden stumbled on the record at times as the angry words flew from both men on the Cleveland stage.

'Will you shut up, man?' 5 takeaways from the slugfest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Cleveland

At Tuesday's debate, Donald Trump repeatedly interrupted Joe Biden. At one point, the Democratic candidate asked Trump, "Will you shut up, man?"

Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute
Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute
  • World
  • 2020-09-30 05:31:19Z

After more than a year of circling each other, Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden met on the debate stage Tuesday night in Ohio. Trump's supporters may have been cheered by his frontal assault.

Chaotic first debate: Taunts overpower Trump, Biden visions
Chaotic first debate: Taunts overpower Trump, Biden visions
  • World
  • 2020-09-30 05:29:53Z

The first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden deteriorated into bitter taunts and near chaos Tuesday night as Trump repeatedly interrupted his opponent with angry - and personal - jabs that sometimes overshadowed the sharply different visions each man has for a nation facing historic crises. In the most tumultuous presidential debate in recent memory, Trump refused to condemn white supremacists who have supported him, telling one such group known as Proud Boys to "stand back, stand by." There were also heated clashes over the president's handling of the pandemic, the integrity of the election results, deeply personal attacks about Biden's family and...

NY Times: Trump paid $750 in US income taxes in 2016, 2017
NY Times: Trump paid $750 in US income taxes in 2016, 2017

President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he ran for president and in his first year in the White House, according to a report Sunday in The New York Times. Trump, who has fiercely guarded his tax filings and is the only president in modern times not to make them public, paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years. The details of the tax filings complicate Trump's description of himself as a shrewd and patriotic businessman, revealing instead a series of financial losses and income from abroad that could come into conflict with his responsibilities as president.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • steel buildings
    (2019-12-28 08:06:53Z)

    In addition, because a metal base can be coated with other materials, the building can be formed mainly from metal, but have the look of wood or other stylistic options.

  • AHoffGeolla
    (2020-01-04 23:40:55Z)

    veteran - buy online cialis visitor cheap tadalafil probably

  • AHoffGeolla
    (2020-01-06 21:36:35Z)

    terrorist - cialis no prescription trick cheap cialis online sweep

  • AHoffGeolla
    (2020-01-08 17:40:38Z)

    surprised - cheap cialis online nerve generic cialis online advantage

  • AHoffGeolla
    (2020-01-20 12:25:16Z)

    nowhere - buy cialis anymore cheap cialis online episode
    running - viagra generic online usa pharmacy buy viagra viagra online alcohol

  • AHoffGeolla
    (2020-01-21 00:09:07Z)

    divide - generic cialis online horse buy cialis online train
    secretary - online viagra generic side effects of viagra buy viagra generic online usa pharmacy distant

  • ehgmbfflueqs
    (2020-03-12 00:04:42Z)

    qrfjdc a knockout post buy cheap sildenafil citrate 100 mg on line viagra tablets lsxxyq home sildenafil citrate 100mg once per week breaking news

  • nyfsyrzpmfdq
    (2020-03-27 02:23:42Z)

    zxlzou recommended site genaritic vigra this website lnbssf click this link here now buy silidenfil sildenafil (generic)

  • dgodrlxnhepf
    (2020-04-21 03:09:13Z)

    zrllyf you can look here sildenafil generic viagra pills go to the website qvbqeo generic sildenfil women 100mg generic viagra Buy Viagra

  • gqnqkowzxvkn
    (2020-06-03 06:17:53Z)

    canada generic viagra viagra Viagra
    www viagra com Viagra viagra work buy viagra online canada pharmacy viagra online canada

    generic viagra canada price buy viagra india pharmacy viagra canadian drugstore viagra

  • Marielitgyiyvllvgy
    (2020-06-16 20:13:29Z)

    cialis buy online cialis generic name cialis online from canada buy medication without an rx cialis 5mg
    free cialis trial cialis cheap canadian pharmacy cialis sale on cialis buy cialis from canada
    generic cialis for daily use cialis canada cialis on canada buy cialis canada canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg
    30 day cialis trial offer buy cialis in the usa cialis cialis canada pharmacy is there a generic for cialis
    cialis with online prescription 40 mg cialis cialis online from canada no prescription for cialis cialis online canada

  • search case recordsbt
    (2020-09-03 01:29:51Z)

    eyhyfzlhrdfs dorothy brown case search
    case searches dupage county il court case search national court case search criminal case number search


Top News: Economy