President Trump leaves for a NATO summit in London on Monday, but first he's making headlines in regard to South America. In an early tweet, the president announced he is restoring tariffs on aluminum and steel shipped from Argentina and Brazil, reports the Wall Street Journal. Trump accused both countries of manipulating their currencies to hurt US farmers, and he paired his action with criticism of the Federal Reserve, notes Bloomberg, which sees the morning moves as significant. Trump says that by these and other nations deliberately devaluing their currencies, "this makes it very hard for our (manufacturers) & farmers to fairly export their goods," he wrote. "Lower Rates & Loosen - Fed!"
This is the first time Trump has explicitly linked tariffs to currency moves, per Bloomberg, and "as such, it signifies a potential new phase in his trade wars in which foreign-exchange markets are the battleground." The US initially exempted Brazil and Argentina from metal tariffs put into place in 2018, but that exemption is now being lifted. The New York Times notes that the two countries have benefited from the US trade war with China: Both have been shipping soybeans and other farm products to China, making up for the shortfall of US exports. (Read more tariffs stories.)