In December 2022, the WTO recognized the US tariffs on steel and aluminum as unjustified

The United States is appealing four World Trade Organization (WTO) rulings against tariffs imposed by the United States on steel and aluminum imports from China, Norway, Switzerland and Turkiye. South China Morning Post informs about it.

Washington also filed a separate appeal against a ruling that the United States was violating international trade rules by labeling imports from Hong Kong as Chinese. The WTO commission recognized the change of origin of these goods, which were to be imported into the USA as unfounded.

The expert panels the WTO set up in 2018 to settle complaints filed over the tariffs ruled last month that they were inconsistent with various articles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It was also noted that these discrepancies were not justified by the security exceptions provided for in the agreement, as they did not apply in times of war or serious international tension.

The US ambassador to the WTO, Maria Pagan, criticized the decision during a meeting of the organization’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), which took place last week. She noted that the United States will not cede decision-making over its essential security to WTO panels.

Previously, the WTO Appellate Body had three months to rule on any appeals filed. However, its activities have been frozen since the end of 2019, as the United States blocked the appointment of new judges and demanded radical changes. Thus, Washington’s filing of appeals is a move to block the ability to seek compensation for the actions, which the DSB found to be inappropriate.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2018, the administration of Donald Trump introduced import duties at the level of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum. The US appealed to Section 232 of the 1962 law, which allows the president to restrict imports if it threatens national security. Subsequently, free trade partners – Canada and Mexico – were exempted from them.

Also, the European Commission (EC) has announced that it has amended the regulation on safeguard measures against imports of certain steel products, effective from 2018. The EC corrected the inconsistencies in accordance with the rules of the WTO, but no changes were made to the protective measures themselves. The decision was made at the request of the WTO commission submitted in 2022 and related to Turkiye’s official complaint from March 2020.