EU THREATENS RETALIATION IN TRANSATLANTIC STEEL DISPUTE
The European Commission has announced potential increases of $583 million in duties levied on $2.2 billion worth of U.S. exports to Europe as potential retaliation for the U.S. increasing import duties on steel imports from Europe.
The European duty increases would be enacted if the World Trade Organization rules that recent duties on steel imports by the U.S. administration are in breach of international rules.
Following the approval of the European Commission’s strategy to respond to what it describes as “the illegal safeguard measures” taken by the U.S. on steel, the EC said that it has notified lists of targeted U.S. exports to the WTO in Geneva. Those exports to Europe would be subject to duty increases.
“This is a necessary procedural step required by the WTO if the EU wishes to exercise its right to countermeasures in the future,” a spokesman for the EC said. However, the Brussels-based body said that its priority remains to “secure a satisfactory package of compensation for and exemptions from the U.S. measures.”
The published lists of U.S. exports includes fruit juices, T-shirts and a variety of goods. Exports of these goods would be hit by increased duties of 8 percent, 13 percent, 15 percent or 30 percent.