India takes Trump to task


NATION LAUNCHES WTO TARIFF CHALLENGE OVER AMERICA’S ‘MULTIPLE VIOLATIONS’ INDIA has opened a World Trade Or­ganisation (WTO) challenge against the steel and aluminium tariffs im­posed by the United States, a docu­ment circulated to WTO members last Wednesday (23) said. Accusing Washington of “multiple violations” of WTO rules, India formally asked the US for “consultations” over the tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium, which is the first step in a full-blown legal challenge. The move means India has joined other powerful WTO members – includ­ing the European Union and China– in fighting back against US president Don­ald Trump’s controversial trade policies. India also noted that it is already suf­fering from the tariffs as unlike the EU, Canada, Mexico and others, it has not been granted a provisional exemption. Japan, also not offered an exemp­tion, has readied a response that would see tariffs imposed on US goods worth 50 billion yen ($451 million). Trump imposed the tariffs in March, levying 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium. He said they were justified by national security concerns and therefore outside the WTO’s remit. India, China, Russia, Japan, Turkey and the EU have all dismissed that claim, regarding the US tariffs as “safe­guards” under the WTO rules, entitling them to a combined $3.5 billion in an­nual compensation. India’s retaliation claim seeks to re­coup $31m levied on its aluminium ex­ports and $134m on steel, and it has said it could target US exports of soya oil, palm­olein and cashew nuts in its retaliation. Under WTO rules, if 60 days pass without consultations resolving the dispute, India can ask the WTO to set up a dispute panel, triggering a long and likely costly legal battle that will almost certainly take years to resolve. But Trump’s…

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