Peter Navarro, assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy, on Tuesday said all countries spared from the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will be hit with quotas “or other restrictions” — and that the 30-day extensions granted to some early this week will be the last.
[Isabelle Hoagland | May 2, 2018 | Inside US Trade]
“So, here’s what happened yesterday — this began with an all-hands-on-deck discussion with the team and it wound up with a press release that could have been clearer last night,” Navarro said during a May 1 conference hosted by the American Iron and Steel Institute and the Steel Manufacturers Association in Washington, DC.
“The guiding principle of this administration — from the president down to his team — is that any country, or entity like the EU, which is exempt from the tariffs, will have a quota and other restrictions which are necessary to defend the aluminum and steel industries from imports in defense of our national security,” he asserted.
The U.S. on Monday decided to extend by one month its tariff exclusions for Canada, Mexico and the European Union. The U.S also reached steel and aluminum agreements in principle with Australia, Argentina and Brazil, as well as a final agreement with South Korea.
“So, we have the Korean deal in place,” Navarro added. “We have ‘in principle’ agreements with Australia and with Brazil and with Argentina and those will be finalized shortly. And then we gave 30 days — that’s all, a final 30 days, no more — a final 30 days to let the [North American Free Trade Agreement] discussions play out with Mexico and Canada and to give the Europeans a chance to see if anything can be done.”