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Puerto Rico manufacturers, Treasury evaluate effect of steel and aluminum tariffs

By on March 9, 2018

SAN JUAN – Both the Puerto Rico Treasury Department and Manufacturers Association (PRMA) are evaluating the new tariffs President Trump announced on aluminum and steel imports, but have yet to fully determine whether they could be detrimental.

Trump announced tariffs to the tune of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum imports. The president exempted imports from Mexico and Canada until the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks have concluded.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés said his agency is talking with the U.S. Treasury Department as part of the analysis being carried out to determine their impact.

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For his part, PRMA President Rodrigo Masses argued that because Puerto Rico is a domestic jurisdiction for customs purposes, the island will be impacted due to the increased tariffs, whose cost would be passed on to consumers

“We are evaluating it but it hurts us in everything that is customs,” he said.

The beer industry, for instance, could be affected because manufacturers of these products buy large shipments of aluminum cans.

Opponents of the new tariffs have said that although they could help save jobs within the steel and aluminum industry, they could cause job losses in industries that use the materials to make products.

Steel bars for sale are displayed at a shop. (REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak/File Photo)

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