EU de­mands com­pen­sa­tion for US steel tar­iffs at WTO

Enterprise - - International news -

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.

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