Trump to delay imposing steel and aluminum tariffs

Posted on 02 May 2018
 

Source: The Jakarta Post

President Donald Trump will delay imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Mexico and Canada until June 1 as he finalizes deals with them, the White House said in a statement.

The administration has reached agreements-in-principle with Argentina, Australia and Brazil, according to the statement, which the White House released late Monday night. The details "will be finalized shortly," the statement added. The US will also extend exemptions for the EU, Canada and Mexico for 30 days to allow for further talks.

”In all of these negotiations, the administration is focused on quotas that will restrain imports, prevent transshipment, and protect the national security,” the White House said. “These agreements underscore the Trump administration’s successful strategy to reach fair outcomes with allies to protect our national security and address global challenges to the steel and aluminum industries.”

Trump in March imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent duty on aluminum after a government report found that foreign shipments of the metals imperil national-security interests. He directed US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to negotiate with countries seeking to turn their temporary tariff exemptions into permanent ones. Exemptions for the EU and the five other nations were due to expire May 1.

The president’s decision to delay the tariffs gives breathing room -- but also a new deadline -- for allies who have been scrambling to secure permanent refuge from the metals duties. It could be seen as a gesture of goodwill for Canadian and Mexican negotiators who are in talks with the US to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump dangled a permanent exemption as incentive to reach a tentative Nafta deal, though talks continue with no immediate agreement in sight. Canada is the biggest steel exporter to the US

At the same time the extension on Monday prolongs the standoff with the EU, the world’s largest trading bloc. European officials have said the US tariffs violate international trading rules, and they have threatened to retaliate with levies on iconic American brands such as Harley Davidson motorcycles and Kentucky bourbon. 



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