European Union initiates dispute with USA at WTO

European Union initiates dispute with USA at WTO

European Union initiates dispute with USA at WTO

Following President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum, the EU now plans to make its case to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Trump administration argues the tariffs are limited and created to save America's ailing metals industry, which is needed for defence and national security reasons.

Trump tweeted: "Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time".

NAFTA, Trump repeated, has been "a lousy deal for the United States from day one".

"It is undecided at this moment, but we are considering it", Aso told reporters at the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Canada.

Trump's antagonistic trade policies - and specifically the steel and aluminum tariffs - drew worldwide denunciation.

President Donald Trump on Friday floated the idea of replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement with two separate trade deals - one with Canada and one with Mexico - adding more uncertainly to trade talks between the three countries that appear to have ground to a halt.

Germany's Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, warned that the decision could start a trade war that no side would win. European Union officials are said to be resigned to accepting that some sort of tariffs are coming their way.

"This is the best possible set of arrangements and really sets the standard in where free trade should be", Treasurer Scott Morrison said in Sydney on Friday. "Any government that embarks on a protectionist path inflicts the most damage on itself".

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International Trade Secretary Liam Fox previously said in a statement that the United Kingdom would support any European Union appeal to the WTO.

Outraged leaders from the world's major economies launched legal challenges Friday after announcing countermeasures to retaliate against harsh steel and aluminum tariffs that Trump allowed to take effect.

Trump's tweet comes a day after the USA levelled steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, among other countries, and Ottawa retaliated with its own dollar-for-dollar countermeasures, including new taxes on steel, aluminum, and various other American products.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has lashed the United States for lumping them with the steel tariff.

Eurofer says European steel exports could be cut in half by the US measures. "The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable", he further said.

The Trump administration upped the stakes ahead of Ross' expected visit by saying Tuesday it planned to forge ahead with tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, as well as measures to restrict Chinese investment in the United States.

The EU's planned retaliatory measures, meanwhile, are created to do maximum harm to US prestige and economic interests, with them threatening to hit $3.5 billion of goods, including iconic products such as blue jeans, motorcycles, and bourbon whiskey, as well as agriculture.

Other countries, including Japan, America's closest ally in Asia, are already paying the tariffs. "This is protectionism, pure and simple".

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