European Union says United States tariffs are 'distorting' global trade flows

EU seeks consultations with US at WTO over tariffs

Also this week, India requested consultations with the United States over the steel and aluminium tariffs, seeking to maintain a similar level of concessions from the US - mirroring a similar move a day earlier by the European Union.

The consultations, however, don't fall under the World Trade Organisation's (WTO's) dispute settlement system.

Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump slapped tariffs of 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on imported aluminum, but granted the European Union a temporary exemption until May 1.

India considers this move "to be an emergency action" under a provision of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the Agreement on Safeguards, the WTO has said.

In accordance with WTO rules, safeguard measures should trigger payments from the USA to major exporters.

According to the Industry and Trade Ministry, Russian metal producers may suffer losses to the tune of at least $3 bln because of the U.S. customs duties.

According to an expert, seeking consultations is a way to inform the other country that they are not fulfilling their commitments under the WTO rules.

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India has been forced to move the WTO as the USA refused to roll back the higher duties on steel and aluminium imports from India.

In response to the same measures, China submitted a consultation request to the United States under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism in early April, and formally initiated a dispute settlement procedure.

USA allies Australia, Canada, the EU, Mexico and South Korea have received temporary exemptions from the tariffs, pending negotiations with the U.S.

According to estimates, India exports steel and aluminium goods worth about $1.6 billion a year to America.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

Europe's top trade official said Wednesday that new USA steel and aluminum tariffs are distorting global trade and could damage hopes for economic growth.

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