WTO to rule in spat over US steel, aluminium tariffs

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The World Trade Organization agreed Wednesday to hear complaints from a range of countries over new US steel and aluminium tariffs, as well as complaints from Washington over retaliatory duties.

The WTO's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) agreed to establish panels to review US President Donald Trump's decision to hit a long line of countries with tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium.

The DSB will create separate panels for the complaints by the European Union, China, Canada, Mexico, Norway and Russia, after the US said it would not agree to a single panel to hear all of them.

A seventh request from Turkey for a panel will be discussed during a meeting later Wednesday.
The DSB agreed Wednesday to Washington's request for three panels to rule on the legality of retaliatory tariffs imposed by Canada, China and the European Union.

It also agreed to a US call for a panel to be created to review "certain Chinese measures pertaining to the protection of intellectual property rights."

Marking a departure from a decades-long US-led drive for free trade, Trump has justified the steep tariffs with claims that massive flows of imports to the United States threaten national security.

The tariff spat has escalated into an all-out trade war between the US and China and growing trade tensions between Washington and many of its traditional allies.

The decision to establish the panels follows rounds of failed consultations between the parties and mark an escalation in an ongoing showdown at the WTO around Trump's controversial trade policies.

The first requests to establish the panels were rejected last month, prompting the sides to file second requests.

Under WTO regulations, parties in a dispute can block a first request for the creation of an arbitration panel, but if the parties make a second request, it is all but guaranteed to go through.

The creation of a DSB panel usually triggers a long and often costly legal battle that sometimes takes years to resolve.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon