Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Trump metal tariffs ruled in breach of global rules by WTO

The World Trade Organisation ruled on Friday that US tariffs imposed on steel and aluminium imports by then President Donald Trump contravened global trading rules in a judgment immediately criticised by Washington.

In one of the most high-profile and potentially explosive cases to come to the WTO, the three-person adjudicating panel said the US measures were inconsistent with WTO rules and recommended the United States bring them into conformity.

The United States said it strongly rejected the “flawed” interpretation and conclusions of the panel.

It could appeal the ruling, which would send it into a legal void because Washington has blocked appointments to the WTO Appellate Body, rendering it incapable of giving a judgment.

China said it hoped the United States would respect the panel ruling and “correct its wrongful conducts as soon as possible”.

The office of the US Trade Representative said in a statement that the United States would not “stand idly by” while Chinese overcapacity posed a threat to its steel and aluminium sectors and its national security.

“We do not intend to remove the Section 232 duties as a result of these disputes,” it said, adding the panel report reinforced the need for WTO reform.

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