Brazilian president Michel Temer said earlier this week that talks with representatives of the United States government regarding exemptions for his country’s aluminium and steel producers are currently underway.
Temer noted to local press on Tuesday that the two countries had strong economic incentives to find an agreement, pointing out the US$51 billion in bilateral trade carried out last year.
“Mike Pence took the initiative to look at the steel and aluminum issue and we agreed to continue working to eliminate barriers to trade,” he explained.
At present the United States is Brazil’s primary buyer for industrial goods, said Temer.
“The US investments in Brazil are bulky – more than $100 billion. The investments from Brazil to US are also significant and growing,” said Temer.
United States vice president Mike Pence noted the growth in Brazil’s economy and the continuing maturity of its democratic institutions, saying that he hopes that the economic ties between the two countries can continue to grow as well.
“Today, we are the largest economies and democracies in the region, and looking to the future, our strategic partnership is a great opportunity,” he opined.
Though no deal is currently in place regarding Brazil’s aluminium exports, the Brazilian government negotiated a quota system in order to avoid becoming subject to 25 percent tariffs on the metal. Semi-finished steel products could continue to be shipped to the States at levels equal to an average of the previous three years, but finished steel imports are limited to 70 percent of that average.
The deal, which comes into effect at the first of next year, strictly limits imports into the United States of Brazilian steel to the quota levels set out above.
The Trump administration levied tariffs on aluminium and steel on most countries this spring. A handful of countries and the EU were given a respite through the end of May before tariffs went into effect.