The White House has extended a metal tariffs exemptions for the European Union and some other countries, but the EU remains dissatisfied, saying that the move prolongs uncertainty for businesses.
President Donald Trump decided on Monday to postpone until June 1 a decision regarding the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs of 25 and 10 percent respectfully, for Mexico, Canada, and the EU, and has reached agreements for permanent exemptions for Argentina, Australia and Brazil. The decision came only hours before temporary exemptions from the tariffs on these countries were set to expire, Reuters writes.
However, the European Union, which has been temporarily exempted from the tariffs, said that certain businesses which are already suffering from the U.S. plans will only see further market uncertainty being prolonged.
“The U.S. decision prolongs market uncertainty, which is already affecting business decisions. The EU should be fully and permanently exempted from these measures, as they cannot be justified on the grounds of national security,” the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said in a statement Tuesday morning.
The EU argued in the statement that it should not be punished with higher duties on metals as it is not causing overcapacity in the industry.
“On the contrary, the EU has over the past months engaged at all possible levels with the U.S. and other partners to find a solution to this issue,” the statement said, according to CNBC.
President Trump announced the higher tariffs in March, maintaining that it was a matter of national security and that the tariffs would protect the U.S. industry. In the eyes of the EU, the motivation of the U.S. is an economic safeguard measure in disguise, not a national security measure.
“We have serious doubts about that justification, we cannot see how the European Union’s friends and allies in NATO can be a threat to national security in the U.S. We find that assumption deeply unjust,” the European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmstrom, told reporters back in March.
A source familiar with the decision said there would be no further extensions beyond June 1 to stave off tariffs.