EU vows to respond to 'unjustified' US metal tariffs, launch WTO dispute
Despite media speculations that the US could possibly introduce long-term tariff exemptions for its close allies, Trump has opted for moving ahead with steel and aluminum duties, APA reports quoting Sputnik.
The EU's Response
Responding to Washington's move on tariffs, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, called the tariffs "totally unacceptable" and pledged to introduce counterbalancing measures in the coming hours, noting that "this is a bad day for world trade."
"I am concerned by this decision. The EU believes these unilateral US tariffs are unjustified and at odds with World Trade Organisation rules. This is protectionism, pure and simple. … The US now leaves us with no choice but to proceed with a WTO dispute settlement case and with the imposition of additional duties on a number of imports from the US. We will defend the Union's interests, in full compliance with international trade law," Juncker said in a statement.
A similar stance was voiced by European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom who pointed out that the bloc would take any necessary steps to protect the EU market from trade diversion, adding that the bloc would now trigger a dispute settlement case at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"The US has sought to use the threat of trade restrictions as leverage to obtain concessions from the EU. This is not the way we do business, and certainly not between longstanding partners, friends and allies," she added.
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