The US has put off its decision on whether to remove the exemptions provided to several key trading partners from its controversial steel and aluminum tariffs.
Upon introducing the levies in April, the White House handed the European Union, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Argentina and Brazil month-long exemptions from the tariffs, stating that it would be decided by April 30th whether or not they would be extended.
However, the US government has now chosen to delay an official ruling on this matter, which will allow the country to avoid a potential trade dispute with the EU as it prepares to hold talks with China over a similar conflict on the same issue.
Trade relations between the US and China have deteriorated rapidly in the last month as a result of the steel and aluminum tariffs, resulting in a series of tit-for-tat levies being threatened by both nations.
The EU has already suggested that it would take retaliatory action of its own if it became subject to the tariffs, a prospect the US may be seeking to avoid ahead of crucial negotiations with China to achieve a diplomatic end to the conflict.