Mexico renews 15 pct steel tariff on countries without trade deals

MEXICO CITY, March 25 (Reuters) - Mexico renewed a 15 percent steel tariff on countries with which it does not currently have free trade agreements, according to an order published in the government’s official gazette on Monday, after the measure lapsed in January.

The tariff was established in 2015 to protect Mexico’s domestic steel producers from growing Asian imports. Since then, Mexico has periodically renewed the measure.

The tariffs apply to the same 186 products that had been covered before. The order cited a global supply glut and falling prices, as well as a lack of what it characterized as “distortion-free competition.”

Last year, the U.S. government imposed tariffs on foreign exporters of steel and aluminum, including Mexico, citing national security concerns. Mexican officials widely denounced the tariffs as unfair. The U.S. steel tariff was set at 25 percent, while a separate aluminum tariff was set at 15 percent.

A senior Mexican official said last month that his country’s measure would be renewed. (Reporting by Sharay Angulo; writing by Daina Beth Solomon; editing by Jonathan Oatis)