Last night the White House announced the exemption on steel and aluminum tariffs will be extended for another month for the EU countries plus Canada and Mexico. The clock will be ticking for those countries with a June 1 deadline and there is hope that a revised NAFTA agreement will be reached during that time to cover all trade with Canada and Mexico.
The administration has apparently reached agreement with Australia, Argentina and Brazil to continue to exempt their steel and aluminum imports from the new tariffs indefinitely. South Korea continues to be exempted as apart of the amendment to the Korean - U.S. trade agreement with the Koreans agreeing to limit their exports to the U.S. by 30% of the last three year average. Negotiations are continuing with Japan but there has been no further announcement regarding the Japanese efforts to obtain an exemption since the tariffs were first implemented.
We will continue to watch this situation and keep you advised. The Commerce Department is still considering further tariffs on Chinese imports with some decisions expected near the end of this Month. This needs to be watched closely, both for the details of final decisions, as well as the Chinese response which could impact U.S. exports.