The U.S. President on Monday sent shock waves through Brazil and Argentina, announcing he would restore tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports from the two countries in apparent retaliation for currency weakness he said was hurting U.S. farmers.
"Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers".
Trump has repeatedly urged the USA central bank to lower rates to below zero, arguing that negative rates in Europe and elsewhere give those countries a competitive advantage.
Trump's trade war with China hurt USA farmers after Beijing retaliated when the president imposed levies on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese-made goods.
Shares in Brazil's Gerdau SA, Usiminas and Cia Siderurgica Nacional SA were up 0.5 percent, 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent in mid-morning trade, respectively.
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Trump to restore tariffs on steel, aluminum from Brazil, Argentina
Both Brazil and Argentina were among a group of US allies that Trump had exempted from steel and aluminum tariffs in March 2018. But it also signaled that it planned no further interest rate cuts absent clear evidence of a worsening USA economic outlook.
Across the country, farm bankruptcies have surged 24% since September 2018, a few months after United States trade disputes with China and other countries led to higher tariffs on key farm goods including soyabeans, cotton and dairy, according to analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The president also took a swipe at the Federal Reserve.
"Their economy is not comparable with ours; it's many times bigger".
After a brief spike in steel prices, US steel producers have struggled since the Trump administration put tariffs into place a year ago.
He has also urged the US Central Bank to cut interest rates to weaken the dollar. Their currencies have been buffeted by weakness that analysts partially attribute to Trump's larger trade battle with China.
U.S. Steel in its last quarter reported its first loss since early 2017, and the division that makes pipes for energy companies lost $25 million.