As U.S. President Donald Trump exempts Canada from steep new tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum for another month, the Canadian government has quietly approved new promised measures aimed at cracking down on the dumping of such materials by countries like China.
Countries exempted from stiff USA tariffs on steel and aluminum will still face tough restrictions, like import quotas, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro reportedly said Tuesday.
The tariffs would result in higher prices for steel and aluminum, even for USA -made steel, industry officials say.
Axel Eggert, Director General of the European Steel Association (EUROFER), said Tuesday the month-long exemption was "welcome, if temporary".
The EU's frustration continued over tariffs the U.S. has justified on national security grounds. "Neither the European Union nor the US can have an interest in an escalation of their trade tensions".
The Trump administration had been trying to pressure Europe, Canada, Mexico and other nations to renegotiate trading terms in its favour, including limiting the flow of foreign metals into the USA, saying that it would grant exclusions to the tariffs for countries that agreed to meet its demands.
Brazil on Wednesday contradicted a United States' announcement that the two countries had reached a deal on a permanent exemption from steel and aluminum import tariffs, saying the Trump administration had unilaterally cut off talks, Reuters reports.
He added, the same goes for other countries and NAFTA, but he reassured the American people all of it will get done.
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US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNN: "We're having some potentially fruitful discussions about an overall reduction in trade tensions".
President Donald Trump announced the punitive action against China in late March for what the administration says is rampant theft of United States technology and know-how.
The US has since announced the intention to impose a 10% and 25% tariff on imports of either entering America.
Trump extends tariff exemptions for final 30 day period to allow for further negotiations.
"But we can only do so serenely when we are certain that we will be excluded from a unilateral increase in tariffs on a permanent basis", said the statement. Trade representatives from both countries released a joint statement at the end of March, but details have not been released. The exemptions were to have ended on Tuesday May 1.
The UK expressed its will to work towards a permanent exemption. The president has threatened to slap tariffs on as much as $150 billion in Chinese imports in retaliation for alleged violations of intellectual property, while Beijing has vowed to retaliate.
The European Union and Canadian businesses are warning of more market uncertainty following the Trump administration's decision to delay U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs for the next month.