After extension, US steel tariff exemption for EU to expire on Friday

After extension, US steel tariff exemption for EU to expire on Friday

Today, tariff exemptions for EU steel and aluminium, which were granted on May 1, expire. European and American officials met

A worker looks at rolls of steel at the ArcelorMittal Dofasco steel plant in Hamilton

Photo: Reuters/Mark Blinch

Today, tariff exemptions for EU steel and aluminium, which were granted on May 1, expire. European and American officials met Wednesday in an unsuccessful last-ditch effort to preserve the exceptions.

After three months of ambiguity, US President Donald Trump enacts the 25% and 10% import tariffs on steel and aluminium, respectively, effective today. In a similar display on Wednesday, the US slapped China with new tariffs on $50 billion dollars of assorted imports and restricted Chinese investment in the US.

All these signs point to high US confidence in an incipient global trade war, which includes hostility towards historically strong allies, like the EU and Japan. While the US has promised ongoing trade negotiations, protectionist policy is dominating Washington’s decisions.

The EU has already stated it would enact tariffs on major imports from the US, like automobiles, tobacco products, blue jeans and produce, in response to US excises. In response, the US could expand its tariffs to include more products, perhaps EU agricultural imports, which alone total $20.6 billion per year.

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