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Expand chart
Note: Includes only products under the "Iron & Steel & Ferroalloy" and "Alumina & Aluminum & Processing" NAICS commodity classifications. Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Chris Canipe and Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The Trump administration has begun imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, but several countries are exempted temporarily until May 1, as shown in the chart above. The administration may still apply quotas on exempted countries to prevent a flood of foreign steel and aluminum in the U.S. market, per the White House.

Why it matters: After railroading past a number of his advisors, Trump announced the tariffs on imports of steel (at 25%) and aluminum (at 10%) earlier this month, citing national security concerns. But with the exemption noted above, the tariffs won't carry major bite, at least to start.

The exempted: The EU member countries, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea.

  • Why exempt them, per Trump: “Each of these countries has an important security relationship with the United States” and the best way forward is to continue conversations exempt them “at least at this time.” Trump left the door open for other countries to negotiate exemptions.

The response:

  • The EU was planning tit-for-tat tariffs on the U.S., and could have expanded them beyond steel and aluminum.
  • South Korea will seek new markets for steel, its trade minister had announced.
  • China announced reciprocal tariffs on $3 billion of imports from the U.S., including on fruit, pork, wine, seafood, and more than 100 other items.

Bottom line: The extent of the effect of the tariffs has yet to be set in stone — the exempted countries are still discussing with the administration what they will ultimately do about their exports to the U.S., and other countries still have the opportunity to either receive exemptions or hit back with reciprocal tariffs.

  • An administration official tells Axios the U.S. is indeed at this time “in discussions with several other countries" on this front.

Go deeper... Trade wars: The effect of Trump’s tariffs

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

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CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

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Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

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