Trump Slaps Tariffs on 2 More Countries

US President Donald Trump says he will immediately restore tariffs on US steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina.

In a tweet posted just after 6 a.m., Trump said the countries have been "presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies" which he says is bad for American farmers.

Trump has long grumbled about the dollar's strength and urged the Fed to abandon decades of precedent and act to weaken the greenback. "This makes it very hard for our manufactures & farmers to fairly export their goods".

Last year, after having accused the two South American countries of weakening their currencies to get an unfair advantage, the United States president imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent duty on aluminum.

Argentina's peso plunged earlier this year on election results putting a left-wing candidate in the presidency.

Inflation has risen in Argentina and its currency value has depreciated under President Mauricio Macri, who took office in 2015.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said he would talk to his economy minister before reacting to Trump's comments on the Brazilian real and the imposition of steel tariffs. Macri lost his re-election bid in October and will leave office on December 10. "Lower Rates & Loosen - Fed!"

At its most recent meeting, in October, the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates for a third time this year to try to support the USA economy.

Across the country, farm bankruptcies have surged 24% since September 2018, a few months after U.S. trade disputes with China and other countries led to higher tariffs on key farm goods including soyabeans, cotton and dairy, according to analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

In a second Twitter post, Trump signaled that he wants the US central bank to do something about suppressed currencies.

He also has earmarked almost $30 billion for farmers to help make up for their losses.

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