The EU and other countries have been asked to spell out what limits they could accept on the amount of steel they export to the United States, how they would address the issue of excess production of steel and aluminum and how they would support the US before worldwide bodies like the World Trade Organization.
The EU and USA are the world's biggest economic partners, with two-way trade valued at US$765 billion (632 billion euros) for goods in 2017 and at 437 billion euros for services in 2016, according to the European Commission.
The EU, the United States' biggest trading partner with a two-way trade valued by the European Commission at $765 billion for goods in 2017 and $528 billion in 2016 for service, has prepared a retaliatory strategy if the exemption is not renewed.
A spokesperson for the British government added that leaders in the European Union are discussing "the vital importance of our steel and aluminium industries and their concern about the impact of USA tariffs" and they have "pledged to continue to work closely with the rest of the European Union and the U.S. administration with the aim of a permanent exemption from United States tariffs". The U.S. refused to offer the European Union compensation and said the request for consultations had no basis under WTO rules. Since then, South Korea has revised aspects of its free-trade agreement with the United States in exchange for a permanent exemption.
"In all of these negotiations, the Administration is focused on quotas that will restrain imports, prevent transshipment, and protect the national security", a statement from the White House said. If the WTO supports Washington's action then it could tempt more countries to bypass trade norms, citing security risks.
These tariffs officially came into effect in March.
The U.S. had a $337 billion trade deficit in goods and services with China previous year. The EU has threatened to retaliate with duties on iconic American goods such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Kentucky bourbon.
The cut ends of steel rebars.
Trump has said the tariffs on Canada and Mexico could be suspended if enough progress is made at negotiations to update the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement.
Mnuchin's comments were similar to those of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who said late Saturday that the White House will announce its decision on tariffs right before the May 1 deadline. Before the tariffs were introduced, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the bloc "won't talk about anything while there's a gun pointed at our head". The chancellor's statement did not outline specific steps the 28-nation European Union might take. Security relationships with the USA have also been part of the criteria.