Biden announces new tariffs on Chinese steel, Mexican aluminum

President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum in an effort to combat Chinese steel being routed through Mexico. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum in an effort to combat Chinese steel being routed through Mexico. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

July 10 (UPI) -- The Biden administration on Wednesday announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from all nations with certain exceptions for Canada and Mexico in an effort to stop China from getting around existing tariffs by sending steel and aluminum through Mexico.

President Joe Biden said in a statement that the secretary of commerce has reported that "steel articles are being imported into the United States in such quantities and under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States."

Biden said he had decided to impose 25% tariff on steel arriving from Mexico that was not poured in Mexico, Canada or the United States.

A 10% tariff will be imposed on aluminum from Mexico if it includes smelting or casting done in China, Russia, Belarus or Iran.

"In my judgment, these measures will provide an effective, long-term alternative means to address any contribution by Mexican aluminum articles imports to the threatened impairment of the national security by restraining aluminum articles imports to the United States from Mexico, limiting transshipment, and discouraging excess aluminum capacity and production," Biden said in a statement.

President Joe Biden imposed a 25% tariff on steel from all countries except Mexico and Canada and a 10% tariff on aluminum smelted or cast in Russia, Belarus, China or Iran. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI
President Joe Biden imposed a 25% tariff on steel from all countries except Mexico and Canada and a 10% tariff on aluminum smelted or cast in Russia, Belarus, China or Iran. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI

He said the United States and Mexico have agreed on a range of measures to allow imports of steel and aluminum that are products of Mexico "to remain stable at historical levels without meaningful increases."

"To improve transparency of the origins of its imports, Mexico is requiring importers to provide more information about the country of origin of steel products. This action adds to Mexico's recent tariff increases on steel from non-free trade agreement countries," Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a joint statement,

For Russian aluminum, Biden said he determined in February 2023 that "it was necessary and appropriate to impose a 200% ad valorem tariff on aluminum articles where any amount of primary aluminum used in the manufacture of the aluminum articles" is smelted or cast in Russia.

Biden said to prevent transshipment, excess production, or other actions that would lead to increased export of aluminum to the United States, the U.S. trade representative, in consultation with the commerce secretary, will advise him on appropriate enforcement means.

Biden cited national security interests as the basis for these tariffs.

"Chinese steel and aluminum entering the U.S. market through Mexico evades tariffs, undermines our investments, and harms American workers in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio," Lael Brainard, director of the White House's National Economic Council, said.