US asked to follow WTO steel ruling

GENEVA — The World Trade Organisation yesterday called on the United States to fall into line with an earlier ruling that criticised the way Washington applied penalties against privatised European steel companies.

By (AFP)

Published: Thu 18 Aug 2005, 10:35 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:15 PM

A WTO compliance panel found that the US had failed in part to act on the global trade referee’s December 2002 ruling, which said Washington imposed so-called countervailing measures without proving adequately that American firms were suffering from unfair European competition.

Under an accord among the 148 governments in the WTO, members can use tariffs to punish trade partners if they believe they are breaching the rules of global commerce — but must stay within the rules when they use such penalties.

Washington respected the 2002 ruling with regard to French firm Usinor, but failed to play fair with British Steel, now the Anglo-Dutch group Corus, and Spain’s Aceralia, the WTO said in its report Wednesday.

The spat, one of several involving steel at the WTO, has been running for almost five years.

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