EU seeks WTO consultation over US steel safeguards

EU seeks WTO consultation over US steel safeguards after bilateral discussions fail to break deadlock.

The EU decided on 1 December to take the US to the WTO over safeguard measures on steel wire rod and welded line pipe imports to the US. The US imposed the safeguards in March 2000 and the EU estimates that they affect exports totalling 170 million euros.

The EU supports the WTO Dispute Settlement Panel view that safeguard measures are an exceptional tool that should only be used in emergency situations. It argues that the threat to US producers by increased imports of steel wire rod and welded line pipe was not serious enough to warrant the imposition of safeguards.

The decision to seek WTO consultation came after months of bilateral discussion had failed to to produce a change in either the US or EU positions on the issue.

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