European Union says U.S. tariffs distorting global trade


China, the European Union and India have also objected, arguing the tariffs are a "safeguard" measure to protect US domestic products from imports, which require compensation for major exporting countries.

"Although the United States presented the measures at issue as being adopted to address the threat that imports of steel and aluminum pose to the U.S. national security, they are in essence safeguard measures", the statement says.

Russian Federation has applied to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to demand the compensation from the United States for tariffs on steel and aluminum, introduced by the country last month, Reuters reported Thursday.

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In March, Donald Trump opted for a trade offensive, imposing a 25 percent import tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.

"This is not a dispute in the full sense of the word, but a somewhat different track", he stressed.

"The US notes that the premise for India's request for consultations under Article 12.3 of the Agreement on Safeguards is that the steel and aluminium proclamations are safeguard measures.... These actions are not safeguard measures, and therefore, there is no basis to conduct consultations under the Agreement on Safeguards with respect to these measures", the submission stated.

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The Agreement on Safeguards entitles a member to seek an extension of a safeguard measure or seek a substantially equivalent level of concessions and other obligations, including trade compensation, with a right of retaliation if no compensation can be agreed upon.

China, which too featured in the list of countries penalised with higher duties on import of steel and aluminium on 23 March, announced higher tariffs on a number of items imported from the United States in retaliation. On March 22, the United States said it would provisionally exempt the EU, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea, and that the exemption period would end on May 1.

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