Outgoing US President Donald Trump issued possibly his last order just minutes before Joe Biden's inauguration by lifting most aluminium import tariffs on the United Arab Emirates starting on 3 February. The lifting was made possible after the two countries reached an agreement to implement quotas limiting imports from the UAE instead.
In a statement announcing the removal of tariffs, the president stressed the important security relationship existing between Washington and Abu Dhabi.
"I have determined that aluminum article imports from the United Arab Emirates will no longer threaten to impair the national security and have decided to exclude the United Arab Emirates from the tariff", Trump stated.
Initial media reports suggesting that the UAE along with Bahrain could become exempted from Trump-imposed aluminium tariffs emerged back in October 2020. The UAE has become the fifth country to be exempted from American aluminium import tariffs, alongside Argentina, Australia, Canada, and Mexico.
The 10% tariffs on aluminium imports were introduced by the Trump administration in March 2018 along with a hefty 25% tax on steel imports from all countries except Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and the EU, which were temporarily exempted. The US sought to achieve fairer trade with other countries, arguing that others had abused trade agreements with it. Canada and Mexico were permanently removed from the tariffs list in 2019 after striking a new trade agreement with the US.