The White House said Monday it would postpone a decision on imposing tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico for 30 days, avoiding the potential for a trade battle with Europe as the U.S. prepares for tense trade talks in China this week.
The Trump administration said it had reached an agreement with South Korea on steel imports following discussions on a revised trade agreement, the outlines of which were previously announced by U.S. and South Korean officials. And the administration said it had also reached agreements in principle with Argentina, Australia, and Brazil on steel and aluminum that will be finalized shortly.
Announcing the trade actions, the White House said “in all of these negotiations, the administration is focused on quotas that will restrain imports, prevent transshipment and protect the national security.”
Facing a self-imposed deadline, President Donald Trump was considering whether to permanently exempt the EU and Mexico, Canada, Australia, Argentina and Brazil from tariffs that his administration imposed last month on imported steel and aluminum. The EU has said if it loses its exemption it will retaliate with its own tariffs on U.S. goods imported to Europe. The confrontation stems from the president’s decision in March to slap tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum.