The US president has raised concerns over a massive devaluation of the Latin American nations’ currencies, claiming their agricultural sector poses a danger to American farmers.
Donald Trump announced trade restrictions against Argentina and Brazil on Monday, explaining his position in a series of tweets. He also called on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates in order to weaken the dollar, which would benefit American manufacturers, making their goods less expensive.
The statement comes despite previous attempts to establish cooperative trade relations between the US and Brazil, as they have been negotiating for the removal of barriers this year.
When Trump increased tariffs to 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium in 2018, both Latin American countries were granted exemptions, however, this time they’re facing a protectionist response from Washington.
Brazil currently occupies third place among countries exporting steel to the US with 12 percent, only Canada (20 percent) and Mexico (13 percent) export more. At the same time, only 0.5 percent of the steel imported to the US comes from Argentina.