A handshake agreement between the U.S. and the European Union reached in late July may have staved off the imposition of auto tariffs for German, French and Italian carmakers.
Still, the White House is reserving the right to impose the tariffs on vehicles made in Canada, a senior administration official told CNBC on Friday. Ford, General Motors, Honda and Fiat Chrysler are among the automakers with operations in Canada.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters last month that getting the White House to back down from auto tariffs was a "major concession." Yet President Donald Trump is still directing the Commerce Department to finish the investigation and prepare a menu of options for the White House, even if Europe is exempt.
"Probably sometime in the month of August we'll be willing to render a report. It may not be necessary, or it may be necessary. We will see," Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross told reporters aboard Air Force One on July 26. "But the work is continuing."