Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – The White House said on Monday that US President Joe Biden intends to keep customs duties at 10% on aluminum imports from the UAE, a move that reflects former President Donald Trump’s decision to exclude the UAE from duties.
Trump announced last January that he would exempt the UAE from customs duties of 10% imposed on most aluminum imports in 2018, as the exemption was to take effect on Wednesday.
Biden said in the decision published by the White House on amending aluminum imports to the United States that he believes “it is necessary and appropriate in light of our national security interests that we maintain at this time the customs treatment applied to aluminum imports from the United Arab Emirates.”
Biden also added that he believed that “the available evidence indicates that imports from the UAE may continue to displace domestic production, and thus threaten to harm our national security.”
Last week, the Biden administration temporarily halted arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as it is conducting a broader review of billions of dollars in agreements concluded by the administration of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
The UAE ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, responded to the announcement, stressing that stopping arms sales was a “expected” step and that his country would work “closely with the Biden administration on a comprehensive approach to peace and stability in the Middle East. As in previous transitional stages, the UAE expected to review current policies. By the new administration, specifically the F-35 (combat aircraft) package which is much more than just selling military equipment to a partner. “