MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government announced on Thursday that it will respond to the US imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from its southern neighbor, Canada and the European Union with “equivalent measures on different products.”
Given the tariffs imposed by the United States, Mexico will impose equivalent measures on different products such as plain steel, including assorted tubing, pork products and others, the Economy Secretariat said in a bulletin.
The Mexican tariffs – which will also include various food products, apples, grapes and assorted cheeses – will be implemented “up to an equivalent level of effect.”
The US Department of Commerce announced Thursday the suspension of the tariff exemption previously put in place on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico, a decision that will enter into force on June 1 and which sparked trade tension and will surely lead to reprisals from these nations.
“Mexico profoundly regrets and condemns the decision by the United States to impose these tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Mexico,” the Mexican government said.
It added that tariffs of this kind “are not appropriate or justified,” and noted that steel and aluminum contribute to the “competitiveness of several strategic and highly integrated sectors” in North America such as the automotive and electronics sectors.
The Mexican government said that Mexico is the main buyer of US aluminum and the second-largest buyer of US steel.
“Mexico reiterates its stance against protectionist measures that affect and distort international ... trade,” the ministry said, adding that the tariff countermeasures imposed by Mexico will remain in effect until the US eliminates its own tariffs.
Mexico said, however, that it remains open to “constructive dialogue” with the US, supports the international trade system and rejects unilateral protectionist measures.
On March 23, the Donald Trump administration imposed tariff hikes of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports, but it suspended the imposition of those tariffs on the EU, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Korea and Mexico.