Argentina would suffer if US President Donald Trump increased tariffs on steel and aluminum, the Argentine Steel Association (Cámara Argentina de Acero) said Friday.
"We're watching this announcement from Trump with caution. We still don't know if he would impose tariffs on all products or just some, and if it would apply to every country or just certain ones. But if it did apply to us, that would be very detrimental," said Carlos Vaccaro, the association's director.
On Thursday, Trump expressed his intention to raise tariffs for steel imports to 25 percent and for aluminum imports to 10 percent, with the goal of protecting the US metallurgy industry.
"What's more, the move could redirect more metallurgy products to Latin America from countries that offer lower prices such as China, South Korea, Vietnam, Russia and Ukraine, according to the association.
The tariffs would hit two companies in Argentina especially hard: Techint (steel) and Aluar (aluminum). Techint sells unsoldered pipe to oil companies in the United States and has a factory in Houston, Texas.
Between January and November 2017, Argentina sold US$200 million in steel pipes and US$500 million in aluminum products to the United States.