EU demands compensation for US steel tariffs at WTO
The European Union is seeking compensation from the United States for US tariffs on steel and aluminium, despite Washington’s assertion that they are not subject to World Trade Organisation rules, a WTO filing showed.
In a step already taken by China, the EU said it did not accept the “national security” justification for the US tariffs but said they had been imposed just to protect US industry.
“Notwithstanding the United States’ characterisation of these measures as security measures, they are in essence safeguard measures,” the EU statement said.
Safeguard tariffs can be imposed on imports of a particular product if a country’s own industry is at risk of serious damage from a sudden surge of imports. In the US case, critics of Trump’s policy say there is no such threat.
The EU said it wanted to hold consultations with the United States as soon as possible.
US President Donald Trump announced the tariffs last month, causing a global outcry because the penalties were seen as unjustified and populist.
Countries can claim exemption from many international trade rules if they can show they are imposing tariffs to protect their national security. But those exemptions do not apply for safeguard sanctions.