BRICS: Brazil imposes a heavy tax on China!

Amid fierce international competition, Brazil has adopted a new policy that could redefine its trade relations with a long-time partner, China. The move, which affects the Middle Kingdom with which it shares the BRICS bloc, is part of a series of measures aimed at protecting local industries in the face of a major economic challenge. The implications of this decision promise to be broad and profound.

Brazil imposes tariffs on Chinese steel

The Brazilian government recently decided to take protectionist measures by imposing a 25% tax on steel imported from China above a certain quota. This decision, although surprising given that China is Brazil's largest trading partner, reflects a desperate attempt to protect the domestic steel industry. Brazil and China, members of the BRICS bloc, have strong and strategic trade relations. However, the massive influx of Chinese steel in 2023 has seriously disrupted the local market, plunging the Brazilian steel sector into an unprecedented crisis.

The decision to tax Chinese steel aims to curb this competition deemed unfair and to stabilize the national industry. The Brazilian government targeted eleven specific products of the steel sector for this tax, although the industrialists had hoped for more. In 2023, the glut of Chinese steel led to the temporary suspension of the activities of a large Brazilian steel company, resulting in the dismissal of 700 workers.

The Brazilian government could no longer remain inactive while the sector is in deep crisis. By imposing this tax, Brazil hopes to breathe new life into its steel industry, even if this measure does not fully satisfy the expectations of local industrialists who wanted broader protection.

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Other Brazilian sectors threatened by Chinese competition

The steel industry is not the only one suffering from Chinese competition in Brazil. Several other economic sectors are also feeling the increasing pressure of low-cost imports from China. Textiles, footwear and toys, which rely heavily on intensive labor and use relatively little technology, are particularly vulnerable.

These industries are putting considerable pressure on the Brazilian government to adopt measures similar to those imposed on steel. In response to these concerns, Brazil recently implemented a tax on online products sold for less than $50, a move aimed primarily at protecting the textile sector from the influx of cheap Chinese products.

The new tax, while necessary to support local industries, has sparked an outcry among Brazilian consumers, especially those from the less affluent classes. Cheap Chinese products had gained popularity due to their affordability, and the price increase resulting from the tax is seen as an unpopular and penalizing measure for these consumers.

Brazil's decision to tax Chinese steel imports marks a turning point in its trade policy. While the move reflects an attempt to support the local economy, it could complicate relations with China, its main trading partner and a fellow member of the BRICS bloc.

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