February 28, 2019 / 4:19 PM / 8 months ago

U.S. agriculture chief says trying to persuade Trump on steel quotas

WASHINGTON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Thursday he is working hard to persuade President Donald Trump that the U.S. steel industry can be adequately protected by tariff rate quotas, rather than plain tariffs, on imports from Canada and Mexico.

Tariff rate quotas can allow a specified amount of product to enter the United States duty free, while applying a tariff on quantities above that quota level. South Korea has agreed to a quota equal to about 70 percent of its steel exports to the United States in 2017.

When asked at a U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee hearing about removal of the “Section 232” steel and aluminum tariffs — and retaliatory tariffs on U.S. farm products — Perdue said: “The president, we’re working hard to persuade him that the steel industry here, which is concerned, can be protected through a TRQ program here rather than tariffs and release the retaliatory tariffs.” (Reporting by David Lawder Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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