The United States tries to avoid detonating a trade war with the European Union, although it still thinks that the trade deficit with its great economic partner creates a big problem for it. With this purpose, it decides to suspend the application of the tariff to European imports of steel and aluminum until a definitive solution is found. The Administration of Donald Trump announces this pause a day before the protectionist measure comes into force.
The representative of International Trade, Robert Lighthizer, already anticipated in a public appearance in the Congress that they were discussing exclusions to the tariff with the EU, Argentina, Brazil and other countries. This Thursday confirmed that they are temporarily exempted. The process will take some weeks. The idea is to close the negotiation, the ambassador said, without going into details, by the end of April. Mexico and Canada are already exempt.
The tariff that goes into effect this Friday is a penalty of 25% for steel products entering the border and 10% for aluminum coming from abroad. Germany would avoid, for the moment, the tax. This implies that four of the large importing countries of steel to the US and seven of aluminum are left out of the measure while specifying the details, product by product
Lighthizer admitted that this temporary suspension seeks to avoid a sudden disruption in the supply chain while trying to find a permanent solution. Trump announced the tariff on March 8 under the argument of national security. At that time, a grace period of two weeks was established in which the exporting countries of the two metals could request exemptions. The president is the one who decides what is excluded.
The pause also applies to Brazil and Argentina.