EU asks WTO for safe­guards over US steel, alu­minum tar­iffs

Business World - - THE WORLD -

GENEVA — The Euro­pean Union (EU) on Mon­day fol­lowed China in com­plain­ing to the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion ( WTO) over US tar­iffs on steel and alu­minum im­ports.

“Hav­ing a sub­stan­tial in­ter­est as an ex­porter in this case, the Euro­pean Union re­quests con­sul­ta­tions with the United States” to agree “safe­guards,” the EU said in a state­ment pub­lished on the world trade body’s Web site.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump sparked fears of a trade war in March when he de­cided to im­pose steep tar­iffs on steel and alu­minum im­ports, pri­mar­ily to tar­get China, but also EU coun­tries.

Brus­sels said in the doc­u­ment the aim of the dis­cus­sions would be to “ex­change views and seek clar­i­fi­ca­tion re­gard­ing the pro­posed mea­sures” and to reach “an un­der­stand­ing on ways to achieve” pro­tec­tion, as set out in the WTO’s Agree­ment on Safe­guards.

The EU said it wanted to hold the con­sul­ta­tions “as soon as pos­si­ble.”

“The dis­cus­sions be­tween the EU and the US are cur­rently on­go­ing. Con­tacts con­tinue at sev­eral lev­els, no­tably on the is­sue of global over­ca­pac­ity in the steel and alu­minum sec­tors,” a Euro­pean Com­mis­sion source said. “In these dis­cus­sions, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is in­sist­ing on get­ting a full and un­con­di­tional ex­emp­tion from the an­nounced steel and alu­minum tar­iffs.”

On April 5 China also filed a com­plaint with the WTO, but Bei­jing went through its Dis­pute Set­tle­ment Body. —

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