The Mexican government is set to defend the interests of domestic steel industry and local companies in response to US 232 tariffs. However, this will not be through the renewal of safeguards on imported steel applied to countries that do not have free trade agreements with Mexico, according to deputy economy minister Luz Maria de la Mora Sánchez.
The US 232 measures remain in force despite the signing of the new US-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement in December 2018. Mexican tariffs of 15% on imports of hot rolled coil, cold rolled coil and wire rod expired on 31 January.
“Mexico maintains a permanent dialogue with the US in order to find a solution to steel trade and defending the interests of domestic steel. The consultations are still ongoing,” says De la Mora Sánchez. The deputy minister did not, however, comment on what measures will be applied in response to the US restrictions. On the other hand, she affirmed "…the safeguards of 15% on steel imports applied to countries that do not have free trade agreements with Mexico were a temporary measure and these will be not be renewed for the moment.”
Mexican iron and steel industry association Canacero has urged the local government to renew the import measures, as well as impose reciprocal measures on US-origin steel imports (see Kallanish passim).