On Thursday, US President Donald Trump confirmed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, which would affect Costa Rican exports. The president has until April 11th to make a final decision.
In mid-February, the US Department of Commerce unveiled three scenarios to tax aluminum and steel imports, highlighting the need to preserve national security and employment in the United States.
In the case of steel, a dozen countries were mentioned, including Costa Rica, whose exports of steel sheets to the United States have multiplied in recent years. Trump used the networks to lash out against international trade for decimating the aluminum and steel industries in his country, at a time when US officials must meet with Liu He, economic advisor to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Our steel and aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated for decades by unfair trade and bad policies with countries around the world,”
tweeted the president on Thursday.
We must no longer allow them to take advantage of our country, our businesses, and our workers,”
added the president, who called for
free, fair, and intelligent trade.”
According to the Bloomberg financial information platform, there are several winners and losers in this scenario:
Winners: American Steelers and Arcelor Mittal
According to Bloomberg, local producers, such as Nucor Corp., AK Steel Holding Corp. and US Steel Corp., will harvest the greatest benefits. These companies have insistently put pressure on commercial defenses against what they believe is unfair competition from China, Russia and South Korea.
It is expected that a tariff (25% on steel) will increase steel prices in the United States and thereby a recovery in activity.
Another winner would be the transnational ArcelorMittal .The giant of steelmaking is also the largest producer in the United States. However, it is not clear what treatment the steel sheet production would receive from the operations that the company has in countries such as Brazil or Costa Rica.
Losers: business partners, factories and global relationships
Bloomberg analysts explain that while China’s industry has been accused of flooding the market with cheap products, it is not the largest steel supplier in the United States. This place of privilege is held by Mexico, Canada, and Brazil, whose commercial relations would be deteriorated.
There would also be a mixed effect in local factories. On the one hand, jobs in the steel industry would be preserved in states like Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan, but in the long term there could be increasing pressure for manufacturers who have to pay more for steel and aluminum.
Another consequence is bad global relationships. Some countries could retaliate if affected, including China and the European Union.