The White House announced that US President Joe Biden invalidated the decision of former President Donald Trump to exempt the UAE from customs duties on aluminum imports, before the exemption became effective.
Biden said that the US national security interests require, at the present time, to maintain the customs treatment applied to aluminum imports from the UAE.
Trump had announced, on his last day in office, that he exempted the UAE from a 10% duty imposed on most aluminum imports in 2018, noting that the two countries agreed on a quota system that would limit aluminum imports.
The exemption was scheduled to take effect next Wednesday.
And last week, the Biden administration said it would temporarily suspend this and other agreements for review.
Harming national security
The White House decision, on Monday night, stated that the aluminum tariffs would be more effective in protecting domestic producers from the “untested quota” announced by Trump.
Biden said, “From my point of view, the available evidence indicates that imports from the UAE are still replacing domestic production and thus threatening to harm our national security.”
“I think it is necessary and appropriate in light of our national security interests that we keep at this time the customs duties applied to aluminum imports from the United Arab Emirates,” he added.
Biden indicated that Trump imposed tariffs for the first time in 2018 to revive stalled aluminum facilities, open smelters and closed factories, and increase domestic production by reducing the United States’ dependence on foreign producers, adding that this need remains.
And the White House said that US data also showed a 25% decline in aluminum imports from the UAE after the duties, compared to a 22% increase in domestic aluminum production during 2019, before the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to Reuters.
According to data from the US Trade Representative’s office, total aluminum imports from the UAE amounted to $ 1.3 billion in 2019.