President Donald Trump on Monday approved another month of relief from steel and aluminum tariffs for key allies, including the European Union, Canada and Mexico.
Facing a midnight deadline to prolong the exemptions or allow imports of steel and aluminum from those countries to be taxed at 25% and 10%, respectively, Trump pushed the deadline another month – giving the US and its allies more time to negotiate a final agreement.
The White House said in a statement that it is finalizing an agreement with Argentina, Australia and Brazil concerning the tariffs and is “extending negotiations” with Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Administration officials have previously suggested the tariffs could be replaced with quotas for countries that work out an agreement with the US.
“In all of these negotiations, the Administration is focused on quotas that will restrain imports, prevent transshipment, and protect the national security,” the White House said in a statement.
The White House said it has also “reached a final agreement with South Korea on steel imports,” which were part of the administration’s renegotiation of the US-South Korea free trade agreement.
The decision came days after French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally lobbied Trump in Washington last week not to bring the steel and aluminum tariffs down on the European Union.
The prolonged exemptions for Canada and Mexico come as the Trump administration is working to renegotiate NAFTA, the free trade agreement among the three countries.