Chairman, CEO and President of Nucor John Ferriola and US Steel CEO Dave Burritt flank U. President Donald Trump as he announces that the United States will impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on imported aluminum during a meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 1, 2018. (Photo via Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)

Adding on to the difficulties for Argentine exports caused by US tariffs on biodiesel, Argentine steel producers have been caught up in the decision by Washington to slap tariffs – that target China primarily –  on aluminum and steel products.

US President Donald Trump announced today he is set impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, potentially sparking a global trade war with heavyweights like China and traditional US allies like Canada, Brazil and the European Union. Caught in the crossfire are Argentine producers Techint and Aluar.

“We’re going to build our steel industry back and our aluminum industry back,” Trump after a meeting with US steel and aluminum producers.

Through November 2017, Argentine steel exports to the United States totaled US $200 million and US$430 million in aluminum according to Clarín. Argentina sells about 200,000 tons of steel tubing to the United States, comparatively less than the 5 million tons of steel that Brazil ships to the United States.

Argentina’s biodiesel sector is currently facing greater difficulties than the steel and aluminum producers, as they have been priced out of the US market after tariff as high as 72 percent were slapped on Argentine biodiesel exports, following through on its findings from November 2017 that producers receive “unfair” subsidies.

The Argentine exports of biodiesel to the United States in 2017 were down compared to the previous year after transitory duties of more than 50 percent were instated in August. Instead of the 1.5 million tons exported to the United States in 2016, approximately 1.03 million tons were dispatched to the United States at the end of 2017.