WTO Sets Panel On U.S. Steel Tariffs

By John S. McClenahen Even as reports circulate that the 15-nation European Union (EU) is delaying retaliation against U.S. tariffs on steel imports imposed in March, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has established a formal panel to rule on the tariffs' legality. The U.S. imposed duties as high as 30% under WTO "safeguard" rules designed to provide temporary relief from import surges. The EU claims the U.S. tariffs don't qualify under the rules, and, says EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy, "similar requests by other countries for [dispute-resolution] panels will shortly be accepted as the rest of the world joins to press the U.S. to remove their safeguard." In addition to the EU, Japan, South Korea, China, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand and Brazil have requested "consultations" with the U.S.

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