Trump postpones steel tariff decision for Canada, EU, Mexico

Where should Europe be innovating? | Oli Scarff  AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump's administration announced Monday that it would extend exemptions to steel and aluminum tariffs for some of the US's closest allies, avoiding the start of a possible trade war. This person also said the Trump administration has "reached agreements in principle with Argentina, Australia, and Brazil, details of which will be finalized in the next 30 days".

Trump made a decision to postpone imposing the tariffs and extend exemptions that will allow the countries to continue exporting metals to the U.S. without being subject to a 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum.

"It is positive that the United Kingdom has been granted a further exemption to these tariffs".

According to a statement from the administration, the exemptions for Canada, Mexico, and the European Union will be extended for a "final 30 days" as negotiations continue with those countries. That deal, the outlines of which were previously announced, requires South Korea to limit exports to the U.S.in exchange for an exemption from tariffs.

The tariffs, which have increased frictions with USA trading partners worldwide and have prompted several challenges before the World Trade Organization, are aimed at allowing the two US metals industries to increase their capacity utilization rates above 80 percent for the first time in years.

Spokesmen for Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the country's Trade Minister Steven Ciobo both declined to comment when contacted by Reuters about the deal's terms before the White House's official announcement.


The Trump administration says it has reached an agreement with South Korea on steel imports following discussions on a revised trade agreement. Trump said the move was needed to protect American metal producers from unfair competition.

Trump met French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, but gave no indication of whether he planned to exempt the European Union, which past year exported over $7.7 billion of steel and aluminum to the U.S. market.

The metals tariffs have caused some divisions within Trump's Republican Party, as steel and aluminum consuming industries have warned that higher prices would hurt their competitiveness.

Trump is considering whether to permanently exempt the European Union and five other countries from tariffs that his administration imposed last month on imported steel and aluminum. The U.S.is in separate talks with those neighbors to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The tariffs are already in effect for other countries, including China and Russian Federation.

In a statement to Business Insider, a United Kingdom government spokesperson said the country was encouraged by the exemption extension but was concerned about possible economic distortions caused by the tariffs.

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