Trump Administration Delays Tariffs on Some Countries

Donald Trump Angela Merkel

Without an extension from Trump, those nations and others that have worked out preliminary deals with the administration would have been hit with tariffs of 25 percent on steel exports to the USA and 10 percent on aluminum at midnight.

The US president imposed a worldwide 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum in March but granted temporary exemptions to Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the European Union (EU), Australia and Argentina. The E.U. has already drawn up a list of retaliatory tariffs-targeted at iconic USA goods, such as bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorcycles-that it would put in place if the White House goes ahead with its steel and aluminum plans.

The European Union and Canadian businesses are warning of more market uncertainty following the Trump administration's decision to delay U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs for the next month.

But Brazil's Foreign and Trade Ministries said on Wednesday the US government had called off talks on April 26 after giving Brazil the option of picking between tariffs or quotas.

His comments came just hours before Mr Trump chose to postpone until June 1 his decision on whether to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on the EU, Canada and Mexico.

The White House in March spared South Korea from the duties after Seoul accepted a quota of 70% of the average of its steel exported to the U.S. between 2015 and 2017.

Speaking Tuesday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer avoided saying whether the administration would be willing to extend again the one-month delay in the tariffs.

President Donald Trump said a delegation to China will fix what he believes should have been addressed "years ago". The Trump administration has told trading partners they must make concessions, but the European Union has insisted it will not negotiate without first obtaining a permanent exemption. A few weeks later, the White House said it meant to impose tariffs of twenty-five per cent on more than a thousand Chinese goods, affecting about $46.2 billion of US imports.

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned against placing tariffs on his country's steel and aluminum. "But we can only do that calmly when we are certain of being permanently exempted from the threat of unilateral tariff increases". Trade representatives from both countries released a joint statement at the end of March, but details have not been released. The EU, Canada and Mexico took a temporary exemption till May 1 and negotiations are ongoing till now. "Fundamentally, the German government's expectation remains a permanent exemption".

"I'm not going to get ahead of what that may look like, but we have 30 days to continue in those negotiations, and hopeful that we can get something that works for everybody", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a briefing.

A different U.S. President might have sought to create a united transatlantic effort to exert more pressure on Beijing.

However, US steel consumers would have less choice and could be forced to pay more for steel products.

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