Mexico Wins Exclusion From Potential U.S. Electric-Steel Tariffs

Mexico will be excluded from any potential tariffs that the U.S. applies to electrical steel from other countries on national-security grounds after agreeing to monitor its exports for transshipment.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office announced the agreement in an emailed statement on Thursday. While the Trump administration hasn’t yet announced whether it will impose the so-called 232 tariffs, named for a section of a 1962 trade law, the pact gives Mexico a pre-emptive exclusion, according to the statement.

Mexico and Canada account for the largest share of U.S. imports of grain-oriented steel -- the variety that’s used in electricity transmission. Quality material can also come from other producers around the world, including Japan, South Korea and China.

Mexico in August announced a pre-approval process on some steel exports to the U.S. in a bid to prevent its products from being targeted. The permits establish that Mexican steel exports haven’t been routed through Mexico from other countries, such as China.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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