Brazil has about 30 days to persuade the United States to definitively exempt its country's steel and aluminium sales from import tariffs, Brazil's chief executive said on Thursday. IABr, Marco Polo de Mello Lopes, after the US government announced that it would temporarily exclude some countries from taxation.
In that period, the industry will try to defend the country's exclusion from the 25 percent import tariff on steel imposed by the US and which goes into effect on Friday for all but Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, European Union and South Korea.
Earlier, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that Brazil and the five other countries plus the EU would be temporarily exempt from import tariffs while Washington negotiates with each other the possibility of definitive exclusions.
Lopes told reporters that President Michel Temer should call US President Donald Trump on Thursday or Friday to defend Brazil's position over the US tariff exemption.
In parallel, the IABr hired the US law firm Steptoe & Johnson to lobby for the definitive exemption of Brazilian steel products.
Brazil is the second largest exporter of steel to the US. The country exported 5 million tons in 2017, of which 4 million tons involved semi-finished products, which are used by US mills for the production of goods such as vehicles, machinery or appliances.
"We are arguing that Brazil is not part of the problem (US national security), it is part of the solution and the temporary exclusion of the country is a very positive result," Lopes said, citing that since August last year, Brazil has already sent two missions to the United States to defend its exclusion from import tariffs.
According to Lopes, Temer's conversation with Trump "is imperative" because it is up to the US president to make the final decision on final exclusions. "The only person (in Brazil) with a direct channel with Trump is President Temer. Hence the indispensability of the Temer call, "said the president of the IABr.
Lopes also said that US importers and Brazilian exporters are making claims for exclusion, but "it will be an extremely tough negotiation. The US will not receive the countries just to give a stamp of 'released'. There's going to have to be an exchange. "
The IABr president also reaffirmed the steel sector's request for Brazil to raise its trade defences against a possible risk that products that will no longer be exported to the US will be redirected to Brazil.
"We want a system to monitor these imports. The US tariff is 25 percent and Brazil's is 12. We have to have a magnifying glass analyzing weekly the entry of these products, Brazil can not ... in the moment of recovery of the domestic market, be hit by diversion on account of the American closure ".
In January, the Foreign Trade Chamber's (Camex) board of ministers decided not to immediately apply anti-dumping measures, such as surcharges, against imports of hot-rolled steel from four major steel groups in China and one from Russia.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)