WASHINGTON – The tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum imposed by US President Donald Trump came into force at midnight Thursday, the White House said.
Trump decided to exempt his North American allies – Canada and Mexico –, the European Union, Australia, South Korea, Brazil and Argentina from the 10 and 25 percent tariffs.
One of the reasons he gave for exempting Argentina from the tariffs was its support to Washington’s security policy in Latin America and its strategy against the “threat” posed by Venezuela.
If 2018 imports are equivalent to 2017 levels – steel imports were worth $30 billion in 2017 and aluminum imports worth $17 billion –, the measure could generate around $9 billion for the US.
China will be the worst affected by the new tariffs.
In addition to steel and aluminum, Trump announced on Thursday a plan to generate $60 billion in tariffs on around 1,300 products from China and was also expected to put restrictions on Chinese investments.
In response, China has threatened to impose tariffs worth $3 billion on imports of certain products from the US.