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WTO Decides to Investigate the United States Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Nov 24,2018

A Geneva trade official on Thursday said The World Trade Organization (WTO) has agreed to set up panels at its Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to decide whether or not The United States tariffs on steel and aluminum imports comply with World Trade Organization rules.

 

A protest was carried against measures by Washington which they said are not for national security reasons but for American economic interests by China and the European Union (EU) on Wednesday along with Mexico, Norway, Russia, Canada, and Turkey.

 

The United States in June imposed a duty of 25% on steel imports and a 10% on aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada, and the European Union, among other regions, citing a national security exemption.

 

It is agreed by The Dispute Settlement Body to set up separate panels for the complaints.

 

On the same occasion, India and Switzerland submitted their 1st requests for panels to rule on The United States steel and aluminum tariffs. Like the seven other members, the India and Switzerland argued that the U.S. actions were, in effect and content, safeguard measures, drawing concerns that the United States was using national security as a justification for the tariffs.

 

Meanwhile, the establishment of four panels was secured by the United States to examine countermeasures imposed by Canada, China, the European Union, and Mexico in response to the steel and aluminum tariffs on certain U.S. imports.

 

In a report Thursday, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo issued a warning after a new report saying that new import-restrictive measures have hit a new high.

 

He said the report's findings "should be of serious concern for Group of Twenty (G20) governments and the whole international community", warning that further rise remains a real threat.

 

"The economic risks will increase, with potential effects for growth, jobs and consumer prices around the world, if we continue with the present course," Azevedo said.