US President Donald Trump today announced that he will delay by six months a decision on imposing steep tariffs on imported autos. The decision marks an attempt by Washington to increase pressure ahead of negotiations with the European Union.

Mr Trump has directed US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to him within 180 days on the outcome of negotiations with the EU, Japan and other countries.

Trump had been facing a Saturday deadline to announce whether to implement 25 per cent punitive duties on autos. In response to the metal tariffs, the EU, Canada and Mexico have already imposed stinging duties on American exports like motorcycles, orange juice, whiskey and blue jeans.

Meanwhile, European Union today said that it is prepared to negotiate with US a limited trade agreement including cars.

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