NATIONAL NEWS

Biden administration to tax foreign-made steel and aluminum imports routed through Mexico

Jul 10, 2024, 6:00 AM

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the 75th anniversary of NATO at the Andrew W. Mellon Audito...

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the 75th anniversary of NATO at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Washington. The Biden administration is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum shipped from Mexico that were made elsewhere. It's an attempt to stop China from avoiding import taxes by routing goods through one of the United States’ closest trading partners. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum shipped from Mexico that were made elsewhere — an attempt to stop China from avoiding import taxes by routing goods through one of the United States’ closest trading partners.

Lael Brainard, director of the White House National Economic Council, said the tariffs announced Wednesday will be levied as part of an agreement with Mexico through section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, which applies to imports that could threaten U.S. national security.

There will be a 25% tariff on steel not melted or poured in Mexico and a 10% tariff on aluminum.

The new taxes on steel are meant to address the evasion of tariffs by China, the dominant producer of more than half of the world’s steel. The aluminum taxes would also hit production based in China, Belarus, Iran and Russia.

The move is also a clear political shot at Republican Donald Trump, President Joe Biden’s predecessor and his likely opponent in November’s election. Brainard noted that Trump could have taken similar actions but failed to do so.

“The president is taking action to close loopholes left by his predecessor that allowed China to circumvent trade rules,” she said.

The financial impact of the tariffs is likely somewhat modest, though, given the volumes of steel and aluminum being routed this way through Mexico.

Administration officials said the U.S. imported 3.8 million tons of steel last year from Mexico, with 13% of that having been poured or melted outside that country. Similarly, the U.S. imported 105,000 metric tons of aluminum from Mexico and only 6% was smelted or cast outside that country.

Still, the issue could be politically relevant. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has called for stopping Mexican steel imports, saying that a “surge” from that country is a threat to U.S. steelworkers and a way to evade tariffs.

Brown is seeking reelection against Republican Bernie Moreno, a wealthy businessman from Cleveland. Ohio was once a political bellwether, but it has voted for Trump in the previous two presidential elections.

Implementation of the new tariffs begins Wednesday with the announcement.

National News

FILE - Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the former armorer for the Western film "Rust," listens to closing ar...

Associated Press

Movie armorer seeks dismissal of her conviction or new trial in fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A movie armorer has asked a judge to dismiss her involuntary manslaughter conviction or convene a new trial in the shooting death of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin, alleging suppression of evidence and misconduct by the prosecution. In a court filing Tuesday, defense counsel for armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed argued […]

9 minutes ago

The Butler Farm Show, site of a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate former Preside...

Associated Press

Homeland Security inspector general investigates Secret Service handling of security at Trump rally

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general says its investigating the U.S. Secret Service’s handling of security for former President Donald Trump on the day a gunman tried to assassinate him at a Pennsylvania rally. The agency says in a brief notice on its website Wednesday the objective is to evaluate the […]

54 minutes ago

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: Republicans shift their gaze to national security as RNC enters third day

The third day of the Republican National Convention kicks off Wednesday with Republicans — led by the newly nominated Donald Trump and his running mate, U.S. Sen. JD Vance of Ohio — shifting their focus to issues of national security and foreign policy. Republicans are expected to focus on Democratic President Joe Biden’s handling of […]

2 hours ago

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., speaks during the Republican National Convention Tuesday, July 16, 2024, i...

Associated Press

FACT FOCUS: A look at ominous claims around illegal immigration made at the Republican convention

After Donald Trump triumphantly entered the hall on the second night of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, the program turned to one of his signature issues: illegal immigration. An ominous video of chaos at the U.S.-Mexico border led into to a speech by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who declared, “We are facing […]

2 hours ago

Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs poses in Los Angeles, Monday, July 15, 2024. Tubbs says he is r...

Associated Press

Former mayor known for guaranteed income programs launches bid for California lieutenant governor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Michael Tubbs is running for lieutenant governor of California, returning to politics four years after voters in his Central Valley hometown ousted him as one of the country’s youngest mayors following his reboot of guaranteed income programs for the poor that made him a star. The 2026 campaign, announced Wednesday, offers […]

4 hours ago

FILE - A logging truck drives on the Interstate 5 bridge that spans the Columbia River and connects...

Associated Press

Aging bridges in 16 states will be improved or replaced with the help of $5B in federal funding

Dozens of aging bridges in 16 states will be replaced or improved with the help of $5 billion in federal grants announced Wednesday by President Joe Biden’s administration, the latest beneficiaries of a massive infrastructure law. The projects range from coast to coast, with the largest providing an additional $1.4 billion to help replace two […]

4 hours ago

Biden administration to tax foreign-made steel and aluminum imports routed through Mexico