WTO to form a Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to review complaints on the US steel and aluminium tariffs and retaliatory duties

The World Trade Organization agreed that it would hear complaints coming from a range of countries over the US steel and aluminium tariffs and complaints from Washington over retaliatory duties.

The WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) agreed on Wednesday, November 21, to establish panels to review U.S tariffs of 25 % on steel and 10 % on aluminium on a host of countries. The WTO will form separate panels to review complaints coming from different countries. U.S. said that a single panel is not good enough to review and hear all of them. There were complaints from European Union, China, Canada, Mexico, Norway and Russia. A seventh request from Turkey for a panel will be discussed during a meeting later Wednesday.

The DSB agreed on forming three panels to rule on the legality of retaliatory tariffs imposed by Canada, China and the European Union. It would also form a panel to review “certain Chinese measures pertaining to the protection of intellectual property rights.” Trump has justified the steep tariffs on the ground that massive flows of imports to the U.S. threaten national security. The tariffs have initiated a trade war between the U.S. and many of its traditional allies. The decision to establish the panels came after a series of failed discussions among the involved countries. The WTO finally agreed to form the panels after repeated requests. The creation of a DSB panel may trigger a long and expensive legal battle for the complainants., November 22, 2018