Japan to join EU, Canada and Mexico in WTO against U.S. steel tariffs

Under the WTO’s dispute settlement process, holding consultations is the first step. It is not clear whether the U.S. will agree to such a request.

As per a source in the Japanese government with direct knowledge of the matter at hand, Japan wants to the join the European Union in its push to set up dispute resolution talks with the U.S over U.S. President Donald Trump’s imposition of aluminum and steel tariffs, under the World Trade Organisation framework.

The Japanese government has informed the WTO about its intention, said the source.

“We are in the same situation as the other countries, so we want to participate in the talks and share information,” said the source. “Our ultimate goal is to get the U.S. to repeal these tariffs.”

Under the WTO’s dispute settlement process, holding consultations is the first step. It is not clear whether the U.S. will agree to the request for talks.

The Trump Administration has imposed the tariff saying they are required to protect national security and U.S. workers. Many countries have responded by saying their steel exports pose no threats to U.S. national security and in fact the tariffs are aimed at curbing China’s economic policy.

Disagreements over tariffs saw Trump backing out of signing a joint communique that was aimed at arriving at a fragile consensus on trade policy with U.S. allies at the Group of Seven summit last week.

Mexico, Canada and the EU have readied tariffs against U.S. imports, as a retaliatory measure. Japan is now now likely to join them.

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