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Mexico Responds To Trump’s Metal Tariffs With Import Taxes On US Goods

RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

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Will Racke Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter
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Mexico said Thursday it will impose import duties on several categories of U.S. goods in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to move forward with tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and other countries.

The new import taxes will apply to American pork bellies, flat steel and several types of agricultural products, according to the Mexican economic ministry. Mexico criticized Trump’s use of national security to justify the metal tariffs in a statement posted to the ministry’s website.

“Mexico has repeatedly said that this type of measure under the category of national security is not appropriate or justified,” the notice stated. “Faced with tariffs imposed by the U.S., Mexico will impose equivalent measures to various products … up to an amount comparable to the level [of U.S. tariffs].”

Mexico’s response comes on the heels of the Trump administration’s decision to place a 25-percent tariff on steel imports and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico, beginning Friday at 12 a.m. Trump announced the tariffs in March, but gave an exemption to those countries, pending the outcome of broader trade negotiations. (RELATED: US Slaps Tough Steel And Aluminum Tariffs On The European Union, Canada And Mexico)

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said trade talks with the affected nations were progressing, but not enough to continue the tariff exemption. He did not specify what requirements the EU, Canada and Mexico would have to meet in order to get the tariffs lifted.

“We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand, because there are other issues that we also need to get resolved,” he told reporters Thursday, according to Reuters.

The tariff battle comes as the Trump administration wrangles with Mexico and Canada over revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump has sought to use the threat of import taxes to force changes to the trade pact, which he says is unfair to American businesses and workers.

Talks with Canada and Mexico over NAFTA are “taking longer than we had hoped,” Ross said.

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