By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Finance Minister criticized on Tuesday the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to raise import tariffs on steel and aluminum. According to Minister Henrique Meirelles the measure could harm not only the world but U.S. industry as well.

Brazil,Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles criticized US measure to tax import of steel and aluminum,
Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles criticized US measure to tax import of steel and aluminum, photo by Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil.

“Investors generally find trade warfare very negative; it is negative for everyone involved and, of course, we are against it and will make that position clear,” Meirelles told reporters in New York, where he is trying to woo foreign investors to invest in Brazil.

According to Meirelles, ‘Brazil’s experience with trade protectionism is extensive’ but these were usually not successful from the economic point of view, not contributing to increase national productivity or increase the industry’s share of the economy.

For the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC), the trade restriction imposed by the U.S. President will affect Brazil’s exports of both products and may result Brazil challenging the measure in international agencies.

“The Brazilian government receives with great concern the information released that the US government intends to apply an additional tariff of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports. The Brazilian government does not rule out possible complementary actions, in the multilateral and bilateral sphere, to preserve its interests,” said the note released by the MDIC last week.

According to MDIC Minister Marcos Jorge Brazilian steel does not pose a threat to US economy since 80 percent of the steel exported by Brazil is semi-finished and used as raw material by the American steel industry. The US is one of the largest markets for Brazilian steel and steel raw materials.

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