Mexico answers Trump tariffs with new duties on US products

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The government of Mexico announced on Thursday it would implement new duties on various U.S. products in response to President Trump’s decision to levy steel and aluminum tariffs on the country.

“Mexico reiterates its position against protectionist measures that affect and distort international commerce in goods,” the government said in a statement.

“In response to the tariffs imposed by the United States, Mexico will impose equivalent measures to various products like flat steels (hot and cold foil, including coated and various tubes), lamps, legs and shoulders of pork, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, blueberries, various cheeses, among others, up to an amount comparable to the level of affectation.”

The announcement comes after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the administration had decided to end temporary exemptions on tariffs for Mexico, the European Union and Canada.

“We look forward to continued negotiations with Canada and Mexico on one hand and with the European Commission on the other hand, as there are other issues we need to get resolved,” Ross said during a conference call, adding that the White House would have to see how its allies responded to the new tariffs before deciding what to do next.

Trump first imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum in March, but announced his administration would grant several countries, as well as the EU, a temporary exemption. 

Mexico, one of the top exporters of steel to the U.S., said in its Thursday statement that the tariffs “are neither adequate nor justified.” The country is currently participating in negotiations with the U.S. to reform the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Trump had previously threatened to scrap a new NAFTA agreement if Mexico didn’t do more to enforce security at its northern border to prevent migrants from entering the U.S. The Mexican government issued a response saying it was “unacceptable” to use immigration as a precondition for trade.

The EU on Thursday also said it would retaliate against the Trump administration’s move.”Today is a bad day for world trade,” said Cecilia Malmström, the bloc’s top trade official.

Mexico said its countermeasures would remain in place until the U.S. removes the tariffs.

“Mexico reiterates its openness to constructive dialogue with the United States, its support for the international system of commerce, and its rejection to unilateral protectionist measures,” the country said in its statement.

Rafael Bernal contributed

–Updated at 11:20 a.m.

Tags Donald Trump Mexico North American Free Trade Agreement Tariffs Trade policy Wilbur Ross

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