U.S. Could Face Trade Panel On Steel As Soon As May 6

By John S. McClenahen If trade talks during the next 60 days don't result in the U.S. terminating the tariffs and quotas on imported steel that President Bush announced on March 5, the 15-nation European Union (EU) could ask the World Trade Organization as early as May 6 to create a formal dispute resolution panel. Talks between the U.S. and the EU last week -- known in the arcana of trade as consultations -- did not resolve the issue. Japan, South Korea, China, Switzerland and Norway also participated in last week's talks and beginning in mid-May they too could request WTO dispute resolution panels. The EU and the others contend that the steel tariffs and quotas violate WTO rules; the U.S. disagrees.

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