30-Day Delay on Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
- Author: Megan Austin May 05, 2018,
May 05, 2018, 1:37
"The US decision prolongs market uncertainty, which is already affecting business decisions", the commission, the EU's executive arm, said in a statement. "The EU should be fully and permanently exempted from these measures, as they can not be justified on the grounds of national security", said the European Commission in a statement shortly after the temporary extension.
The 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent duties on aluminium - a key tenet of US President Donald Trump's "America first" approach to worldwide trade - were due to go into effect on Tuesday.
"We must stand firm and united versus the United States and convey one and the same message - that there must be a total, permanent exemption short of which there will be no talks", he said. The group said the European Union has been willing to discuss the issue and "will not negotiate under threat".
The statement added, "Any future transatlantic work programme has to be balanced and mutually beneficial".
London on Monday had welcomed the "positive" decision. Beijing owns most of America's more than $21 billion debt.
The tariffs would result in higher prices for steel and aluminum, even for US -made steel, industry officials say.
FRICTIONS: Britain's trade minister Liam Fox said he was delighted that Trump had chose to extend the temporary exemption, saying hitting British imports made no sense.
As South Korea agreed to be subject to steel exports quota to the United States as well as other measures to reduce excessive steel capacity, the Asian country will also be exempted from additional steel tariffs. The statement also said the administration had reached agreements on metals imports with Argentina, Australia, and Brazil.
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Last March President Donald Trump imposed worldwide tariffs of 25% on US imports of steel and 10% on aluminium. They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Navarro said there will be no further extensions for talks involving Canada, Mexico, the European Union or others.
Argentina's steel association said late Tuesday the agreement represented great news for the national steel sector but also for the whole country.
Days before talks were broken off, Thomaz Zanotto, a consultant for Brazil's second-biggest steel company, CSN, who had been kept abreast of negotiations, said it appeared that Brazil might have to face quotas on finished products, which represent 20 percent of exports to the United States.
"I am firmly convinced that in the interests of jobs in Germany, in Europe and in the U.S., we need a long-term provision and that raising tariffs is the wrong way", German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said, urging more talks with Washington.
Two European leaders - French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel - lobbied Trump to reconsider the tariffs during trips to Washington last week but received no public guarantee.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, called Trump's decision to extend the deadline "welcome news", but the reality is that kicking the tariff can down the road just results in more uncertainty.
But the move threatens to spark a trade war that could cause turmoil in financial markets.