As Deadline Looms, EU Awaits News Of US Tariff Exemption

Kenny Tucker
May 1, 2018

The leaders of Germany, France and Britain are ready to push back if the Trump administration does not permanently exempt the European Union from new import taxes on aluminum and steel imports, German Chancellor said Sunday.

"The president has not made any decision yet", Mnuchin told Fox Business Network in an interview that aired Monday.

The European Commissioner for Trade, has been speaking to US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross. Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and the European Union won temporary exemptions. "I expect that there will be a decision quickly".

Trump's embrace of tariffs this year has roiled financial markets and sparked fears of a trade war that could undermine the broadest global upswing in years.

Goods include sweetcorn and cranberries, along with Kentucky bourbon, cigars, jeans and motorcycles.

US President Donald Trump is sending a high-powered trade delegation to China later this week to hold high level discussion with the Chinese leadership on the dispute between two nations on trade and economic issues.

In the last one month, Trump has taken a series of measures to address the challenge of massive USD500 billion trade deficit with China.

Li made the remarks at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) said. China, in response, said it will impose its own tariffs on American products. But Chinese officials will refuse to discuss the $100-billion demand at talks in Beijing this week, the New York Times reported, citing unidentified people. Key US allies, including Japan and Korea, have not secured an exemption. But over the weekend, Century Aluminum Co.

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Since taking office, the right-wing populist, who campaigned on an "America First" platform, has withdrawn from the completed, but not yet ratified, 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and forced formal negotiations to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. Canada exported over $12 billion of steel and aluminum to the USA in 2017, with another $3 billion from Mexico.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said "a quota on steel would not be the best way to go".

Companies are asking for relief from 25 per cent tariffs on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium.

The EU has drawn up a list of "rebalancing" duties worth some 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) to slap on US products if it is not permanently excluded.

The Commerce Department said it has already boosted staff numbers, and wants approval from Congress to use more of its budgeted funds to help solve the problem.

3,500 Number of exclusion requests that have yet to be reviewed, while about 550 had been processed as of last Friday.

The Commerce Department said nearly all of the exclusion submissions yet to be reviewed were received within the last 12 days, and that a third of the requests have come from just 10 firms.

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