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January 25, 2021

In Last Minute Move, President Trump Exempts UAE From Aluminum Tariffs

Before leaving office on January 20, former President Donald Trump announced that the United States would lift tariffs for aluminum products imported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), effective February 3, 2021. The measure is expected to allow imports from the UAE “to remain close to historical levels without meaningful increases.”

Implementation of the order will be monitored by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

As Reuters explained, the order means the UAE now joins Argentina, Australia, Canada and Mexico, which have also been excluded from the aluminum tariffs.

As The Hill noted, “Various tariffs on steel, Chinese imports, European products and other goods remain in place as [Joe] Biden starts his presidency. Biden has signaled he will not immediately lift those tariffs, but is likely to use them as leverage in negotiations with various trade partners.”

As a reminder, MSCI consistently has argued that global overcapacity and other unfair trading practices, particularly by China, have harmed the U.S. steel and aluminum markets. To address this circumvention, in 2017 MSCI advised federal officials to provide relief for producers up and down the supply chain and to consider consequences of any new trade policy, including: the economic impact of global overcapacity on the entire domestic metals supply chain; transition times and implementation rules to any new policy; availability of domestic metals to meet U.S. national security needs, as well as general industrial and consumer demand; and trade flows under current free trade agreements, including NAFTA.

MSCI also asked that Canada and Mexico be excluded from any trade penalties.

Click here to review all of MSCI’s advocacy on Section 232 tariffs.