Biden pushes back on WTO ruling on aluminium and steel tariffs

European Aluminium

The Biden administration has pushed back on a decision by the World Trade Organisation to reject the tariffs on aluminium and steel implemented by former President Donald Trump.

Trump imposed tariffs on imported goods, steel at 25% and aluminium at 10%, in a bid to protect domestic manufacturers.

The move was not popular with its global trade partners with China, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey challenging the move.

Biden had already entered agreements with the EU, UK and Japan to swap the tariffs with import quotas.

The WTO ruled last week that tariffs imposed on steel and aluminium imports by then President Trump contravened global trading rules.

Even though Biden has rowed back on the tariffs, his administration has still been critical of the decision by the WTO.

“The United States strongly rejects the flawed interpretation and conclusions,” said Adam Hodge, spokesman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. “The United States has held the clear and unequivocal position, for over 70 years, that issues of national security cannot be reviewed in WTO dispute settlement.″ 

Hodge said the WTO “has no authority to second-guess’’ the national security decisions of member countries. His statement concluded, “The Biden administration is committed to preserving U.S. national security by ensuring the long-term viability of our steel and aluminium industries, and we do not intend to remove the Section 232 duties as a result of these disputes.”

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