The Trump administration is hitting back at a number of countries for what it considers unjustified retaliatory tariffs that were imposed as a response to the steel and aluminum duties the U.S. applied on its closest allies in the name of national security.
The U.S. Trade Representative said it launched formal challenges against China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey at the World Trade Organization on Monday. They come in response to retaliatory measures taken by these countries on American-made products earlier this year.
“The actions taken by the President are wholly legitimate and fully justified as a matter of U.S. law and international trade rules. Instead of working with us to address a common problem, some of our trading partners have elected to respond with retaliatory tariffs designed to punish American workers, farmers and companies,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in an emailed statement.
Lighthizer said the U.S. would take “all necessary actions” to protect U.S. interests and urged trading partners to “work constructively” with the Trump administration to address overcapacity in both metal sectors.
Canada, China, the EU, Mexico and Turkey have imposed retaliatory tariffs on $23.4 billion worth of U.S. goods in response to Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Lighthizer in June responded to the retaliatory measures, hitting the EU and others for acting irresponsibly.
“While the United States has acted responsibly here, the European Union and its followers have not," he said in a statement on June 26. “Faced with these unjustified tariffs, the United States will take all necessary actions under both U.S. law and international rules to protect its interests.”
Copyright 2018, Bloomberg