The Biden administration has delivered a blow to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the second time in as many weeks, reversing a decision by the Trump administration to remove aluminum tariffs that would have been effective February 3.
President Donald Trump signed an exemption for the UAE from a 10% aluminum tariff he imposed in 2018. The move was perceived as a reward for the UAE’s peace agreement with Israel, known as the Abraham Accords.
That deal opened the door to other peace and normalization agreements among Israel and the Arab states — much to the irritation of Iran.
But President Joe Biden reversed that decision on Monday, claiming “imports from the U.A.E. may still displace domestic production, and thereby threaten to impair our national security.”
Biden did not note the role of diplomacy in security.
Last week, the Biden administration also targeted the UAE, suspending arms sales that President Trump had approved during the diplomacy that led up to the Abraham Accords and that the U.S. had made over initial objections by Israel.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, when asked about the UAE tariffs on Tuesday afternoon, said that the Biden Administration was reviewing all trade policies made under the previous administrations. She said that Trump’s decision to lift tariffs on the UAE was “made clearly, in our view, on the basis of foreign policy issues unrelated to trade.”
Notably, Biden ran on promises to return to the Iran nuclear deal, which the UAE, Israel, and other American allies in the Middle East had opposed.
`Last week, Biden appointed the dovish Robert Malley as his Iran envoy, a sign that the U.S. may be returning to the Obama Administration’s policy of accepting Iran’s regional hegemony, despite allies’ concerns.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.