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US Suspects that Brazil Has Been Buying Steel from China then Re-Exporting It

03/16/2018 - 11h21

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RAQUEL LANDIM
FROM SAO PAULO

The United States suspects that Brazil has been buying Chinese steel and re-exporting it. The Brazilian steel sector has denied the claims, but such suspicions may have arisen as a pretext to keep the country on the list of nations that will be slapped with import tariffs on steel.

This sort of practice - where steel is imported from China then re-exported to the US - is one of the US government's main concerns and it will be one of the criteria the country will adopt when negotiating with exporting countries.

President Donald Trump announced that, from March 23rd onward, he will raise import tariffs on steel from 0.9% to 25%, and on aluminum from 2% to 10%. He did, however, keep open the possibility of negotiating with countries separately.

In a meeting in Washington in late February, US Commerce Secretary Will Ross told the Brazilian Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services, Marcos Jorge, that he was concerned Brazil was re-exporting Chinese steel.

Mr. Jorge told Mr. Ross that this was impossible given that 80% of Brazil's steel exports are semi-finished products that are used as raw material by US steelmakers. He also pointed out that Brazil imports American coal.

"We have made it clear to the US government that Brazil is not re-exporting Chinese steel. In practical terms, we do not even export flat steel to the US", said Marco Polo Mello Lopes, the president of the Brazilian Steel Institute.

Antônio Gaudério - 8.set.2006/Folhapress
The Brazilian steel sector has denied the claims
The Brazilian steel sector has denied the claims

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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