Bolsonaro says US scrapping tariffs on Brazilian steel, aluminum

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro (R) says that US President Donald Trump has agreed to scrap tariffs he intended to impose on Brazilian steel and aluminum (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

Brasília (AFP) - President Jair Bolsonaro announced Friday that his US counterpart Donald Trump was scrapping planned tariffs on Brazilian steel and aluminum, following a telephone call between the two leaders.

"(Trump) was persuaded by my arguments and decided... that our steel and aluminum would not be" subject to tariffs, Bolsonaro said in a video posted on his Facebook page.

Trump tweeted that he had a "great call" with Bolsonaro and that they had discussed trade, but did not mention any agreement on canceling tariffs.

Earlier this month, the United States had reimposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina, in a serious blow to Bolsonaro's plan to strengthen the alliance between the western hemisphere's two largest economies.

Bolsonaro said Trump had changed his mind in a phone call initiated by the US president.

"The Americans are our great partners. We have a lot in common. The personal friendship... that I feel for him and that he has for me are further strengthened," Bolsonaro said following the call.

Trump last year announced global tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum but later approved exemptions for some countries, including Argentina and Brazil after they agreed to quotas.

Brazil is the second-largest supplier of steel to the US market behind Canada.