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EU Prepares to Retaliate for Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on June 20

Monday, May 21, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The European Union has notified to the World Trade Organization two lists of U.S. exports to the 28-member bloc that could be hit with higher tariffs unless the U.S. exempts the EU from additional import duties on steel and aluminum that were imposed as of March 23. The first list comprises goods on which the EU would impose an additional 25 percent duty, beginning June 20 and until the U.S. lifts its tariffs against EU products. The second list details U.S. goods on which additional duties of 10 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent, or 50 percent would be imposed beginning on the earlier of March 23, 2021, or the date a WTO dispute settlement panel determines that the U.S. tariffs are in violation of WTO rules.

President Trump has extended the EU’s temporary exemption from the steel and aluminum tariffs through May 31 to allow a continuation of discussions. The U.S. is pushing for the EU to agree to quotas on its steel and aluminum exports to the U.S. in return for a permanent exemption, but Brussels has said that because of its close relationship with the U.S. it expects a permanent exemption without such measures. According to a Reuters article, EU officials added recently that they would be willing to discuss certain trade irritants if a permanent exemption is granted, such as market access for industrial products, government procurement, energy, regulatory cooperation, and WTO reform.

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