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U.S. Challenges Retaliatory Tariffs in New WTO Cases

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S. filed July 16 separate World Trade Organization dispute settlement cases against the duty increases imposed by China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and Turkey in response to the United States’ additional tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum products.

According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. believes its tariffs are justified under international agreements allowing countries to define what their national security interests are and take actions to defend them. However, the U.S. is arguing that the retaliatory tariffs “are completely without justification under international rules” and “appear to breach each WTO member’s commitments under the WTO Agreement.”

A USTR press release summarizes the retaliatory duties being challenged as follows.

- China: 15 to 25 percent additional duties on $3.0 billion in U.S. goods effective April 2

- EU: 10 to 25 percent additional duties on $3.2 billion in U.S. goods effective June 22, with plans to impose 10 to 50 percent additional duties on another $4.2 billion in U.S. goods as of June 1, 2021

- Turkey: 4 to 70 percent additional duties on $1.8 billion in U.S. goods effective June 21

- Canada: 10 to 25 percent additional duties on $12.7 billion in U.S. goods effective July 1

- Mexico: 7 to 25 percent additional duties on $3.6 billion in U.S. goods imposed in two tranches effective June 5 and July 5

(Click here for ST&R’s web page providing comprehensive information on all U.S. tariffs imposed under Section 301 and Section 232 as well as the retaliatory tariffs trading partners are levying on U.S. goods.)

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