President Trump has officially set a six-month deadline to negotiate national security issues with respect to imported automobiles and certain automobile parts from the European Union, Japan and any other country the US Trade Representative deems appropriate, reported.

The report added the expected delay means potential tariffs for the auto sector have been pushed down the road.

Automakers and some US lawmakers oppose the potential tariffs on concerns they will lead to a loss of business activity and jobs, the report noted.

The news followed China's Monday (13 May) announcement it would increase tariffs imposed on about US$60bn of US goods in retaliation for Trump's latest escalation of the trade war though auto parts would remain exempt.

The tariffs would take effect on 1 June on most of the goods listed on a previous retaliation list effective last September.

The Trump administration had last week announced an extra 25% tariff on thousands of Chinese products worth about $200bn and released a plan to levy a 25% additional tariff on all remaining imports from China later on Monday.

Tariffs were imposed at 5%-25% levels but auto parts, which initially were on the list but have been exempt since December, continued to be excluded.

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