EU could file WTO complaint over U.S. steel duties

EU could file WTO complaint over U.S. steel dutiesThe European Commission said it regretted a U.S. decision to impose anti-dumping measures on steel plate exported from Europe, adding that the duties were "artificially inflated", Reuters reported on Friday.

The U.S. Department of Commerce set duties of up to 148 percent on cut-to-length plate from seven producers from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, prompting Germany to urge the EU to file a WTO complaint.

The Commission had been active during the procedure supporting the European exporters concerned, a spokesman said.

"Unfortunately, our comments and notably those concerning the use by the U.S. of methodologies which artificially inflate the preliminary dumping margins have not been given expected consideration," the spokesman said.

The final duties were in many cases higher than the preliminary duties set in November.

"We will look now into the detail of the decision taken by the U.S. and consider the appropriate steps," he continued.

At the same time the German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said the U.S. government seemed prepared to give U.S. firms "unfair competitive advantage" over European producers even though this violated international trade law.

"We Europeans cannot accept this. The EU must now examine whether it also files a complaint at the WTO. I strongly support this," Gabriel said.
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