U.S. announces countries exempted from metal tariffs

According to a statement by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mexico, Canada, the EU, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, and South Korea are momentarily exempted from the steel and aluminum tariffs
U.S. announces countries exempted from metal tariffs
Detail of a metal factory – Photo: David Hecker/EL UNIVERSAL
22/03/2018
14:54
Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
AFP
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The United States has decided to exempt – for the moment – several countries, including the European Union members, from the steel and aluminum tariffs announced in early March, according to a statement by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Addressing the U.S. Congress, Lightizer said the exemption applies to “both partners of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)” – that is, Mexico and Canada –as well as the European Union, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and South Korea.

On March 8, the Donald Trump administration imposed a 25% steel and a 10% aluminum tariff on imports, which sparked fears over a possible trade war.

However, by the time the U.S. President signed the corresponding proclamation, it had already been announced that both Mexico and Canada would be temporarily exempted from the tariffs. Canada is the U.S. largest source of imports for both metals, followed by Brazil.

On Monday, the U.S. government announced the details of a process that countries interested in a tariff exemption would need to follow to be deemed eligible.

As for the European Union, when the White House announced its intention of imposing the tariffs, the EU pledged there would be countermeasures against U.S. products. However, the European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström went to Washington to negotiate an exemption for the EU.

The steel and aluminum tariffs are expected to go into effect this Friday.

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