Washington – President Donald Trump accused Argentina and Brazil of affecting American farmers for manipulating their currencies and said they will impose tariffs on their steel and aluminum imports.
Trump also asked the United States Federal Reserve to take measures to prevent other countries from devaluing their currencies.
The two South American nations were among the U.S. allies to whom Trump did not impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in March 2018.RELATED
Hours before traveling to a NATO conference in London, the president tweeted that "Brazil and Argentina have presided over a huge devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers. Therefore, with immediate effect, I will reimburse tariffs especially the steel and aluminum that is sent to the United States by those countries. "
Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies. which is not good for our farmers. Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries. The Federal ….
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2019
Argentina is plunged into an economic crisis with uncontrolled inflation, deep indebtedness, widespread poverty and a currency that has sunk under the command of President Mauricio Macri, who took office in 2015 with promises to boost the second largest economy in South America . Macri was defeated in the October elections and will leave the post next week.
For its part, Brazil is dealing with a double-digit unemployment rate and its economy is heading to record a 1% growth for the third consecutive year, after two years of a severe recession.
Trump said the Fed "should act in the same way so that countries, which are many, do not continue to take advantage of our strong dollar by further devaluing their currencies." The president said that this type of devaluation "complicates that our manufacturers and farmers export their products in a fair manner."
"Lower rates and loosen up!", The president urged the Fed, which is independent.
On several occasions, Trump has lashed out against the president of the Reserve, Jerome Powell, about his leadership and for not reducing interest rates as much as the Republican president would like.
At its most recent meeting in October, the Federal Reserve reduced short-term interest rates for the third time this year to underpin the US economy. But he also said he had no further reductions planned because there is no clear evidence that the country's economic outlook is getting worse.
Trump's trade war with China affected farmers in the United States after Beijing retaliated when the US president imposed levies on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese products. Trump falsely states that China pays the United States billions of dollars in tariffs.
Trump has also allocated almost $ 30 billion to help farmers compensate for their losses.
After a brief increase in steel prices, the US steel sector has struggled since the Trump administration imposed tariffs last year.
Domestic demand has declined along with the energy sector because the oil industry has bought less steel.
U.S. company Steel reported its first loss since the beginning of 2017 in the most recent quarter, and the division that makes the tubes for energy companies lost $ 25 million. The company has laid off some workers and closed some of its smelting furnaces.
Shares of the Pittsburgh-based company have declined 43% in the last year. AK Steel shares have fallen 10%, even when the S&P 500 index records record highs.