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WTO to decide on US tariffs

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has agreed to hear grievances from a number of countries over new US steel and aluminium tariffs, as well as complaints from Washington over retaliatory duties. The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of WTO approved the constitution of panels to review US decision to hit a long line of countries with tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and ten per cent on aluminium.

Earlier, the European Union, China, Canada, Norway, Mexico, and Russia had confirmed they would escalate their disputes by starting adjudication proceedings, while the US wants dispute panels against Canada, China and the EU. The Dispute Settlement Body will create separate panels for the complaints by the European Union, China, Canada, Mexico, Norway and Russia, after the US said it would not agree to a single panel to hear all of them. A seventh request from Turkey for a panel will be discussed during a meeting later.

The DSB also agreed for a panel which will review certain Chinese measures pertaining to the protection of intellectual property rights as demanded by the US. While imposing the tariffs, the US justified it and said it’s a matter of national security. Exporter countries say the United States should compensate them for the damage, and have imposed their own tariffs in response.