EU argues against US metal tariffs at WTO

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By Stefan Grobe
EU argues against US metal tariffs at WTO

In a public hearing at the World Trade Organization, the European Union has launched a case against the United States over metal tariffs imposed in 2018.

At the time, U.S. President Donald Trump determined that tariffs were necessary for national security reasons.

It is the first of a series of cases brought to the Geneva-based trade body by countries hit by those measures.

Due to the complexity of the issues, the Panel expects to issue its ruling no earlier than autumn 2020.

The launch of the case against Washington comes at the time of looming U.S. tariffs on European cars.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggested that the government may “not need” to levy tariffs on imported cars after holding “good conversations” with automakers in the EU, Japan and elsewhere.

Negotiations with individual companies about their capital investment plans might bear enough fruit that tariffs become unnecessary, Ross said in an interview.

In May, the White House agreed to delay new car tariffs for six months as Washington engaged in negotiations with the EU and Japan.

While the U.S. struck a deal with Japan last month that averted the tariffs, the EU has yet to reach an agreement with the Trump administration.