Date
21 August 2018
The EU is said to have made a formal request to join the WTO consultations in relation to the US-China steel tariffs row. Photo: Bloomberg
The EU is said to have made a formal request to join the WTO consultations in relation to the US-China steel tariffs row. Photo: Bloomberg

EU seeks to join US-China steel dispute at WTO

The European Union asked on Monday to join a dispute brought by China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over US import tariffs on steel and aluminum, Reuters reports.

The Trump administration had set duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum on grounds of national security, but provided a temporary exemption until May 1 for the EU.

China has taken the US to the WTO over the measures. The first step in the WTO process involves consultations.

The WTO said on Monday that the EU had made a formal request to join the consultations as a party with a significant trade interest in the matter.

The EU noted that its interest was substantial because if the exemption ended then the US measures would hit EU exports, according to the WTO.

Hong Kong, India, Russia and Thailand have all filed requests to join the consultations. The EU is the first of the parties granted an exemption to seek to join the dispute.

Canada, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and South Korea also received temporary exemptions. 

The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28-member EU, said that the bloc wanted to be granted a permanent exemption without conditions.

Separately on Monday, India, Russia, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey and Venezuela joined China in expressing their concerns or disappointment at the US metals tariffs.

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RC

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