U.S. Requests Talks With EU Over European Steel Safeguards

By Agence France-Presse The United States has filed a request with the World Trade Organization (WTO) for talks with the European Union over its recently adopted steel protection measures, WTO sources confirmed on April 9. The United States, which lodged the request on April 5, follows Japan and South Korea in seeking talks with the 15-nation trade bloc over safeguard measures that were announced March 27. The EU is planning the measures to protect its market from a flood of steel imports that are expected to be diverted from the United States following Washington's decision to impose tariffs of up to 30% on imported steel. Under the WTO's safeguards agreement, countries can claim compensation for the amount they believe their exports are harmed by the measures and in the case of refusal, they could under certain conditions take retaliatory action. However, Japan's request for talks is aimed at clarifying the EU's intentions with regard to the provisional measures and is not concerned with seeking compensation, sources said last week. Six WTO members -- including the European Union -- have lodged complaints against the U.S. tariffs under the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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