Trade Cases

Mexico Avoids Tariff by Agreeing to Monitor Exports

Written by Tim Triplett

In response to U.S. complaints of recent surges, Mexico has agreed to strictly monitor exports of standard pipe, mechanical tubing and semifinished products through June 1, 2021. In exchange, the U.S. will maintain Mexico’s exemption from the Section 232 national security tariffs, said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a statement on Monday. Section 232 imposes a 25 percent duty on imports of finished and semifinished steels from most other nations. 

As a result of consultations to analyze recent volumes of imports of the three steel products, the U.S. will maintain Mexico’s tariff-free treatment, said Mexico’s Secretariat of the Economy in a statement on Monday. For its part, Mexico will establish an export monitoring regime for these products until next June. Both countries will consult in December to assess the trade flow of these products in light of current market conditions

Lighthizer praised the Mexican government for their cooperation. “While the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged both of our countries in unprecedented ways, it has also underscored the importance of the strong economic partnership between the United States and Mexico and the need for close coordination to address common challenges. Our successful consultations on steel prove it is possible for us to work together to find creative solutions that serve the interests of workers and businesses in both countries.”

(Editor’s note: See Leibowitz on Trade for further commentary on this subject.)

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