The White House also suspended a Trump-era deal to sell 50 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets to the UAE.
US President Joe Biden will maintain a 10% tariff rate on aluminum imports from the United Arab Emirates, overturning Donald Trump’s decision to end the levies on his last day as president, the United Arab Emirates said. White House.
Biden’s Republican predecessor announced on Jan.20 that he would exempt the UAE from the tariff on most aluminum imports, saying the two countries had entered into a quota agreement that would restrict them.
The exemption was due to go into effect on Wednesday.
Trump granted the exemption shortly after designating the UAE as a “major security partner” and signing a deal to sell them 50 F-35 Lockheed Martin Corp. fighter jets.
Last week, the Biden administration said it would also temporarily suspend this agreement, and others, to review them.
The White House ruling last Monday said the aluminum tariff would be more effective in protecting domestic producers than the “untested quota” announced by Trump.
“In my opinion, the available evidence indicates that imports from the United Arab Emirates may still displace domestic production, and thus threaten to harm our national security,” Biden said.
“I consider it necessary and appropriate, in view of our national security interests, to maintain, at present, the tariff treatment applied to imports of aluminum articles from the United Arab Emirates”, did he declare.
No comments were immediately available from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington.
Biden did not address the broader ties to the United Arab Emirates or arms sales, focusing on problems with the US aluminum industry – a sector seen as critical to national security.
Aluminum is the UAE’s largest exported product by value to the United States. The Arab nation sold $ 1.3 billion worth of metal to U.S. buyers in 2019, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Trump first imposed the tariff in 2018 to revive unused aluminum plants, open smelters and closed factories, and boost domestic production by reducing the United States’ dependence on foreign producers, Biden said , adding that the need still existed.
He said the US Department of Commerce denied 32 of 33 exemption requests from producers in the United Arab Emirates before Trump’s decision at the 11th hour.
US data also showed a 25% drop in aluminum imports from the UAE after the tariff, coupled with a 22% increase in domestic aluminum production through 2019, before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the White House said.