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WTO: US tariffs on steel and aluminum are illegal

The World Trade Organization said tariffs on steel and aluminum imports by the United States in 2018 were illegal in a ruling on a dispute published by arbitrators on Friday, December 9.

The ruling concluded that the administration of then-US President Donald Trump violated the rules of the Trade Organization, and the plaintiffs were China, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. The European Union also filed a complaint against America before the organization because of the fees, but it did not continue at that time.

Given this, the US government thought it was not permissible to deal with the matter by settling the dispute in the World Trade Organization, and the judges rejected this argument.

The examination should have been done objectively as to whether the government’s reasons for imposing measures to protect national security were covered by WTO rules, which was not the case.

Countries that won dispute settlements at the World Trade Organization are entitled to claim compensation to the extent they have been damaged by this objected procedure.

The United States can appeal, but since Washington has delayed the appointment of new members of the Appellate Body for years, this will not be possible this time, and the case will remain unresolved.

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