US slaps new duties on Mexico, China steel

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, Aug. 17, 2018. (Xinhua/Ting Shen)

(AFP) – The United States announced fresh duties on some Mexican and Chinese steel goods on Monday, saying those countries helped their manufacturers with unfair subsidies.

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The decision comes two months after President Donald Trump agreed to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada after the three nations agreed on a revised North American free trade pact.

The Commerce Department found that imported steel used in construction benefited from subsidies in China, Mexico and Canada, but in the case of Canada the subsidies were negligible, so no retaliatory duties were imposed.

The action was in response to a grievance lodged in February by US steel producers. In its preliminary findings Commerce found Mexican and Chinese exporters of fabricated structural steel benefitted from subsidies ranging from 30.3 percent to 177.43 percent.

Structural steel imports from China and Mexico together amounted to $1.5 billion in 2018.

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