Japan to join EU in WTO talks on U.S. steel tariffs - source - TNBC UK

TOKYO- Thursday, June 14, 2018- The government source reported, ‘Japan is seeking to join the European Union in its push to set up dispute resolution talks with the United States over Washington’s steel and aluminum tariffs, under the World Trade Organization framework’. it has also informed the WTO about its intention to take part.

The sources also said that Japan has reported the WTO, that it wants to participate in similar consultations requested by Canada and Mexico as it looks to join forces with countries affected by U.S. tariffs.

“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.”

Holding consultations is the first step in the WTO’s dispute settlement process, but it is uncertain whether the United States will agree to the request for talks.

The United States has upset its closest allies by imposing a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. The U.S. said that the tariffs are to be needed to protect national security and U.S. workers. Many countries also said their steel exports pose no threat to U.S. national security and the tariffs have really aimed at curbing China’s excess steel capacity.

The EU, Canada, and Mexico have prepared for retaliatory tariffs against U.S. imports, raising the chance of a full-blown trade war. Until now, Japan has not taken any similar steps, but there is a lingering concern in Tokyo over whether Washington would try to curb Japanese imports to lower the U.S. trade deficit. Disagreed, over the tariffs spilled into the open at a Group of Seven leaders’ summit last week as U.S. President Donald Trump backed out of signing a joint communique that appeared to reach a fragile consensus on trade policy.

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