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Everybody Wins on Trump Tariffs as Brazilian Steelmakers Rise

Joe Richter and Sabrina Valle

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Trade wars are “good, and easy to win.”

President Donald Trump on Monday rolled out a new round of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports intended to punish Brazil and Argentina for cheapening their currencies. But Brazilian steelmakers were winners alongside their U.S. counterparts as shares for companies in both countries gained.

In 2018, Trump was famously quoted talking about easy-to-win trade wars. Brazilian steelmakers, though, are unlikely to feel much of a sting because they either have plants in the U.S. or ship relatively little into the country, according to Pedro Galdi, an analyst at Mirae Asset Wealth Management. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and XP Investimentos reiterated their buy-equivalent ratings for Gerdau.

“The impact is neutral, almost null” on Brazilian steelmakers, Galdi said by phone. The companies “are exporting very little and basically steel plates, a basic product which they can easily redirect to other markets. That’s why stocks are not reacting negatively to the announcement.”

The American depositary receipts of Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau SA rose 2%, while Cia Siderurgica Nacional SA, or CSN, rose 4.1% and Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA gained 1.3%. Meanwhile, in New York trading, AK Steel Holding Corp., U.S. Steel Corp. and TimkenSteel Corp. all advanced more than 3%.

Gerdau, which has plants in the U.S., might have to manage its stocks and avoid using material it produces in Brazil in its North American operations, Galdi said. CSN can sell its products to other countries, according to Galdi.

To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net;Sabrina Valle in Rio de Janeiro at svalle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Luzi Ann Javier at ljavier@bloomberg.net, Joe Richter, Reg Gale

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