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Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

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Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

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March 14-15, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

EU lodges complaint against WTO for steel and aluminum tariffs in US

2019-11-06 15:41:12  【Print】
EU lodged a complaint against WTO on Monday, asking the US to cancel tariffs on imported metals levied by President Trump, which is one of the most concerned and highly controversial cases facing the WTO.

Trump imposed tariffs of 25% and 10% on imported steel and aluminum respectively in 2018. He relied on a US law of 1962 that allowed him to restrict imports on the grounds of national security.

The US move prompted steel exporters including China, India, Russia and Turkey to file nine complaints with the WTO. Canada and Mexico have terminated their lawsuits after reaching an agreement with the US on new free trade agreements.

EU and US officials presented their arguments to a team which is composed of three arbitrators from Uruguay, Chile and the Philippines. The case focused on the "National Security Exception" clause which means that WTO allows its member states to violate WTO obligations on the basis of "national security".

The core argument of the US is that national security should be judged by the countries themselves, not by a three-member team of WTO.

The Expert Group of WTO is responsible for handling all seven complaints and has stated that it will not make a ruling before the fourth quarter of 2020, so the ruling may be made after the US presidential election on November 3.

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