Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Deadline Pushed to June 1

- May 1st, 2018

Just hours before tariff exemptions were set to be lifted, US President Donald Trump extended the decision deadline to June 1.

The anticipation surrounding US President Donald Trump’s deadline on steel and aluminum tariffs was washed away on Monday (April 30) as he delayed the decision by another month.

The original deadline was set for Tuesday (May 1), but with just hours left on the clock Trump extended it to June 1. The White House said it has come to agreements on permanent exemptions for Brazil, Australia and Argentina, and is still working on negotiations with other countries.

“The administration is also extending negotiations with Canada, Mexico, and the European Union for a final 30 days. In all of these negotiations, the administration is focused on quotas that will restrain imports, prevent transshipment, and protect the national security,” its statement reads.

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In late March, Trump imposed 25-percent tariffs on steel and 10-percent tariffs on aluminum imports, sending shockwaves through global trading markets. China reacted almost immediately by putting tariffs on a 128-item list of American exports; the EU also threatened to put duties on key American exports like Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Prior to the deadline switch, South Korea had already been granted a permanent exemption from the tariffs by reaching a final deal with the White House. In exchange, South Korea will abide by a quota that stands at 70 percent of its average steel exports to the US between 2015 and 2017.

Trump’s administration has been trying to coax other involved countries into meeting similar quotas, but with less success. Canada, Mexico and the EU have all vocalized that quotas won’t suffice as a means of gaining exemption from the tariffs.

“There’s no jurisdiction on the planet that has a better case for a full exemption than Canada,” Joseph Galimberti, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association, told the Canadian Press Monday.

“We source our raw material from the US. We do extensive business with the US. We have comparable costs [on salaries]. We are in no way, shape, or form unfair trade,” he added.

As Canada and Mexico are also heavily involved with the US as they work to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, the discussion around tariffs has become a bit of a sore spot.

“We continue to work with the administration but we are optimistic that they understand that this would be a bad thing for both of our economies,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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