US President Donald Trump has delayed imposing steel and aluminium tariffs on the European Union and other allies including Canada, Mexico and Australia.

The Trump administration has reached agreements-in-principle with countries including Argentina, Australia and Brazil, with the details to be finalised shortly according to a recent statement released by the White House.

The administration has also reached a final agreement with South Korea on steel imports, and is extending negotiations with Canada, Mexico and the European Union for a final 30 days to allow for further talks.

The April 30 statement from the White House highlighted modifications of the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminium, following a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% duty on aluminium which were imposed by President Trump in March.

Reason for the steel tariffs

The tariffs were imposed as a result of a government report which found that foreign shipments of the metals risked harm to national-security interests.

The White House statement made clear its intentions regarding tariffs, stating: “in all of these negotiations, the administration is focused on quotas that will restrain imports, prevent transhipment, and protect the national security.

“These agreements underscore the Trump administration’s successful strategy to reach fir outcomes with allies to protect our national security and address global challenges to the steel and aluminium industries.”

The president’s recent decision to delay the tariffs gives some breathing space as well as an amended deadline for the European Union and Canada who initially had the tariffs imposed.

The Trump administration has been trying to convince countries to accept quotas on the amount of steel and aluminium they export to the US, with the president’s recent embrace of trade barriers sparking concerns the tariffs and subsequent ramifications may stymie global expansion.