A Punishment From Donald Trump To Argentine Steel And Aluminum Exports For US $ 700 Million

With Aluar shares falling 8.5% in the stock market, Javier Madanes Quintanilla, its main shareholder, had an unusual prominence yesterday. And he carried the singing voice in which it seemed a double rejection. On the one hand to the punishment that Trump announced with tariffs that will leave aluminum and steel out of competition. But he also criticized Mauricio Macri's government hard. He reproaches him: “Two years ago we were excepted and we slept on the laurels. It was because of the way of looking at the world and geopolitics and not understanding how the main power of the world moves. This shows concern about the relationship between our countries and China, ”he summarized Clarin.

With a 10% tariff, aluminum is out of play. Exports from Aluar to the great country of the North represent 50% of their shipments, 40% of their production and in silver they are US $ 500 million.

The sanction involves steel and specifically Tenaris, the Techint controlled company, which is a leader in the global pipe market for the oil industry. From its Campana plant, 70% of the volume that is exported goes to the United States. Techint does not report amounts. Yesterday its share in the New York Stock Exchange fell 1.7%. Steel business sources mention that the damage would be for the equivalent of about US $ 200 million. In this way, Argentina would lose exports by almost US $ 700 million.

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In May 2018, the country managed to be exempted from import tariffs on steel and aluminum. The agreement established free export quotas for that tariff with a cap of 180,000 tons per year, for both steel and aluminum. Now, that quota in the case of steel would be punished with 25% tariffs. This means not being able to compete.

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By the way, it is not the first time that Techint has threatened its products in the US. Maybe that's why Paolo Rocca, its largest shareholder and CEO, decided to have a subsidiary in Houston. It is called TenarisBayCity and is the most robotic and modern tube factory of its kind in the world. But it still requires completing orders from Argentina.

"We must not trust that things will be resolved by their own weight," Madanes Quintanilla extended to this newspaper. According to his reasoning, the first thing that the outgoing government should do is to eliminate the withholdings that it applies to these exports of $ 3 per dollar to face a reality that will be difficult since “US reoriented the metal supply market with Canada and Australia. ” For the businessman in the United States of Trump no decisions are made temperamentally. “They are not scratch things. There is behind a strategy that has been carried out long ago, ”he added.

In turn, the Chamber of Steel asked the Argentine State to arbitrate the necessary means to reverse it because it harms Argentine steel production and local employment. In passing, he recalled that high value-added steel exports are already affected by the elimination of export refunds (from 4% to 6%) since August 2018 and by the imposition of withholdings on industrial goods of $ per dollar exported since September 2018.

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