In Final Hour, Trump Eases Metal Tariffs on One More Nation

(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump, as he left Washington for his home in Florida, issued a proclamation exempting one additional nation from metals tariffs.

The order exempted the United Arab Emirates -- which accounted for about a tenth of U.S. aluminum imports last year -- from 10% tariffs the Trump administration implemented in 2018, and instead placed quotas on the nation, saying imports would have to remain close to historical levels without meaningful increases. This language is similar to quotas placed on Canada last year.

The measure makes it “more likely that domestic capacity utilization will be reasonably commensurate with the target level recommended in the Secretary’s report,” the proclamation said. “The United States has an important security relationship with the United Arab Emirates, including our shared commitment to supporting each other in addressing national security concerns in the Middle East, particularly in countering Iran’s malign influence there.”

CRU Group says shipments from the UAE were roughly 11.5% of total U.S. imports last year through November, and about 14% in 2019. In 2019, that accounted for about 10.7% of total U.S. aluminum demand, according to the research group.