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Trump will delay steel tariffs for EU, others

Trump will delay steel tariffs for EU, others
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The Trump administration will temporarily delay imposing steel and aluminum tariffs for the European Union (EU) and six other countries while negotiations proceed over possible permanent exemptions. 

U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerBob LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE said Thursday that the United States will exempt the EU, Canada, Mexico, Australia, South Korea, Argentina and Brazil from the steep tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

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Lighthizer said President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE has decided to "pause the imposition of the tariffs with respect to those countries," during questioning by Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenLawmakers bicker over how to go after tax cheats NFL accused of 'systemic racism' in handling Black ex-players' brain injuries Infrastructure deal imperiled by differences on financing MORE (D-Ore.) at a hearing on trade.

All of the nations, which represent the bulk of steel imports into the country, are in various stages of negotiations with Lighthizer over a permanent exemption.

On Wednesday, Lighthizer told the House Ways and Means Committee that the process for exemptions will be completed by the end of April.

The tariffs are set to go into effect on Friday on all other nations, including China, Russia, India and Turkey, that send their metals into the United States.

Lighthizer didn't include Japan, a close U.S. ally in the Pacific, in the first group of nations that will get a reprieve, even though the two nations are talking about giving Japan a break from the hefty duties.

Trump has said he can change the list of nations included in the tariffs at any time.

The president's call for the tariffs on March 8 sent many U.S. allies scrambling to win at least temporary exemptions while they discuss permanent options.

He has said that restricting steel and aluminum imports is necessary to protect national security.

Most countries, including the EU, are threatening retaliation on iconic American products such as jeans, bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorcycles if the Trump administration allows the tariffs to hit them. 

Canada and Mexico, the two partners with the United States in the North American Free Trade Agreement, had already earned exemptions, which Trump and Lighthizer have said hinge on the successful update of the 24-year-old trade pact.

South Korea is facing a similar situation because its leaders are negotiating with the United States to amend its six-year-old free trade agreement.

The Commerce Department has set up separate procedures to consider product exclusions for U.S. businesses that have trouble getting the steel and aluminum they need here.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossFormer Trump officials find tough job market On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE said Thursday at the Ways and Means Committee that they have already received 200 applications for product exclusions.