This Morning in Metals: Trump Signs Proclamation That Could Offer Tariff Relief to Quota Countries

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This morning in metals news, President Donald Trump signed a proclamation that offers “targeted relief” for a quartet of countries subject to metals quotas, Mexico’s steel association urges the government to negotiate a repeal of the U.S.’s steel tariff and Canada rejoins talks with the U.S. regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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‘Targeted Relief’

President Trump signed a proclamation Wednesday that offers targeted relief vis-a-vis tariffs for countries currently subjected to quotas, according to a Department of Commerce release.

The proclamation applies to steel from South Korea, Argentina and Brazil and aluminum from Argentina.

Companies from those countries can apply for exclusions “based on insufficient quantity or quality available from U.S. steel or aluminum producers.”

MetalMiner’s Take: Relief from steel quotas from South Korea, Argentina and Brazil, and aluminum from Argentina may not support increasing domestic prices. Domestic steel prices seem to be trading lower this month. The U.S. Midwest premium has also decreased slightly, signaling a possible stop to take a breath, so to speak, before prices increase again in the budgeting season.

Mexico and the Steel Tariff

Mexico’s steel industry association, CANACERO, said the government should seek to win an exclusion from the U.S.’s steel tariff, Reuters reported.

The U.S. and Mexico announced a preliminary agreement earlier this week on a number of NAFTA provisions, but Mexico remains subject to the 25% steel tariff.

Back in the Game

Speaking of NAFTA, the most recent agreement in principle between the U.S. and Mexico took place with Canada standing on the sidelines.

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Now, Canada has rejoined the dialogue in talks with the U.S., CNBC reported.

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