The Trump administration announced yesterday that it was delaying steel and aluminium tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the European Union for another 30 days. What does this mean for those countries - and how will they respond?
How significant are the tariffs?
The tariffs are 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium.
What is Trump trying to accomplish?
The Trump administration has been pressuring Canada, Mexico, and the EU to renegotiate trading terms that are more favorable to America. This includes limiting the amount of foreign metals being imported.
American trade officials have been trying to persuade allies to voluntarily lower their metal shipments in exchange for having the tariffs lifted.
How are U.S. metal manufacturers responding?
In a quote to the New York Times, the president and CEO of Majestic Steel USA said the tariffs were helping to revive the American steel industry, but that his customers were in a state of flux in regards to supply and price.
Trump's 30-day tariff extension is sure to prolong the uncertainty in global markets, making investment and production more unpredictable.
How are Canada and Mexico responding?
An extension of the tariff deadline was widely expected for Canada and Mexico, who are currently negotiating with the U.S. over NAFTA.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has emphasized that tariffs on Canada would have a negative impact on the U.S. given that the American military and private sectors often rely on Canadian metals.
How will the EU respond if the tariffs are implemented?
European officials have been adamant that tariffs would violate international trading law. The EU has asked to join a dispute that China has brought to the World Trade Organization in regards to the tariffs.
In recent months, both Canada and the EU have introduced measures to stop Chinese steel from entering the U.S. via their countries.
What other countries have been exempted?
The White House granted temporary exemptions to Argentine, Australia, and Brazil that would allow them to avoid the tariffs for the time being. The details of these arrangements are expected to be finalized in the next month too.
Last week, the Trump administration announced their first major trade deal with South Korea, extending tariffs for South Korean truck exports and restricting the amount of South Korean steel that can be imported to the U.S.
Notably, Japan has been left off the list of countries with a temporary exemption from the tariffs. This is due to their large surplus with the U.S. The Trump administration hopes to negotiate with the country in one-on-one trade talks.
What other battles is the White House facing?
America risks angering key allies as they begin negotiations with North Korea and consider abandoning the Iranian nuclear deal.
Rhetoric between the United States and China has also increased in intensity recently. The White House is sending a high-level trade delegation to Beijing later this week.