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Mexican Steel Imports Drop After President Trump’s Tariffs

MEXICO CITY — In May, the Trump administration announced a 25 percent tariff on steel imported from several countries including Mexico, one of five main suppliers to the U.S.

According to the U.S. government's recent data, the Mexican steelers are starting to hurt … and it may reach American pockets soon.

The United States imported 37 percent less Mexican steel in June than in May, according to data from the U.S. Census Office. That represents 130 million tons, or $142 million.

Pedro Tello is an economic analyst in Mexico City. He said the drop in imports is hitting the Mexican steelers and economy first, followed eventually by the American consumers.

The U.S. is the main destination of Mexican steel, Tello said. As a result of the drop of imports, investment projects by Mexican steel companies will have to be postponed, as well as any expected increase in labor force. The impact will also hit their stocks.

Tello explained the American steel industry will hardly compensate for the drop in imports, which could raise the prices.

Steel consumers and exporters in the U.S. are lobbying to lower the steel tariffs, according to Tello. Otherwise, he said, they will punish the administration during the upcoming midterm elections.

Rodrigo Cervantes was KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City from 2016 to 2021.