Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV
'Jazz'

member station

NPR
Business

Trump Backtracks On Brazil Steel Tariffs

President Trump has changed his mind about taxing steel and aluminum imports from Brazil.

Trump assured Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in a telephone call that he would not follow through with a tariff threat he'd leveled earlier this month.

Brazil is a major supplier of imported steel to the United States, so financial markets were rattled when Trump abruptly tweeted on Dec. 2 that he would reimpose a 25% tariff on Brazilian steel. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 326 points that day, as it appeared Trump was opening a new front in his trade war against a friendly government.

Trump accused both Brazil and Argentina of "massive" currency devaluations, which he said were hurting U.S. farmers.

Less than three weeks later, Trump is backtracking on the Brazilian tariffs. Reuters first reported on the call between Trump and Bolsonaro, which was confirmed by NPR.

It's not clear whether the president still plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Argentina. Since the Dec. 2 tweet, Trump has appeared to dial down trade tensions. He struck a Phase One trade agreement with China last week and won the backing of House Democrats for an updated trade pact with Mexico and Canada.

Support comes from

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.