Donald Trump lifts tariffs on UAE aluminium imports from February 3

Former president exempts UAE from 10% tariff imposed on aluminium imports in 2018

Outgoing US President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One as they arrive at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, on January 20, 2021. - President Trump and the First Lady travel to their Mar-a-Lago golf club residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and will not attend the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden. / AFP / ALEX EDELMAN

As he left office, former US president Donald Trump exempted the UAE from a 10 per cent tariff imposed by his administration in 2018 on metals imports, after the two countries agreed to a quota limiting the volume of aluminium imports from the Gulf nation.

The agreement stems from the two countries' national security and economic ties, Mr Trump said in a proclamation issued by the White House on January 20, prior to the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US president.

"This measure is expected to allow imports of aluminium from the United Arab Emirates to remain close to historical levels without meaningful increases, thus making it more likely that domestic capacity utilisation will be reasonably commensurate with the target level recommended," Mr Trump said.

The ex-president eased the metals tariff he imposed in March 2018. The UAE is the third-largest aluminium exporter to the US and is home to Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), which exports the metal globally and is the largest industrial company in the country outside the oil and gas sector.

The exemption will start on February 3, according to the proclamation.

Other countries that have also been excluded from the tariff include Argentina, Australia, Canada and Mexico.

Mr Trump said the measure "will provide effective, long-term alternative means to address the contribution of the United Arab Emirates to the threatened impairment to our national security by restraining aluminium article exports from the United Arab Emirates to the United States, limiting export surges by the United Arab Emirates, and discouraging excess aluminium capacity and excess aluminium production".

The agreement stems from the two countries mutual interests, according to the proclamation.