U.S. To Appeal WTO Steel Decision, Maintain Tariffs

By Agence France-Presse The United States said July 11 it would appeal a WTO ruling that tariffs to protect U.S. steel producers were illegal, and would keep the duties in place. "The steel safeguard measures will remain in place" while the ruling is being appealed, U.S. Trade Representative spokesman Richard Mills said. "Safeguard measures are allowed under WTO rules. Many countries have used them. We believe the steel safeguard measures comply with our international obligations. In accordance with U.S. law and WTO rules, the safeguard is a temporary measure, designed to help domestic producers adjust to import competition." A panel of three independent experts rejected the arguments laid down by the United States that its safeguard measures were needed because of increased steel imports that were hurting its domestic steel producers. The European Union initiated the complaint and was joined by Brazil, China, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea and Switzerland in a joint complaint, lodged at the Geneva-based WTO last year. According to the report, the United States failed to provide a "reasoned and adequate explanation" of a link between increased imports and "serious injury" caused to U.S. producers. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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