The European Union (EU) has sought to join the consultations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) requested by China with the United States on the recent US steel and aluminum tariffs, the WTO said on Monday.
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on March 12, 2018. (Photo: VCG)
The EU notified the United States, China and the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body that it wishes to join the consultations since it has substantial trade interests in the matter.
Despite opposition from business groups and trading partners around the world, US President Donald Trump on March 8 signed proclamations to impose a 25-percent tariff on imported steel and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum.
Though the EU is temporarily exempt from the tariffs, "should the exclusion not continue to be in place, then the EU's exports would be impaired significantly by the US measures," the EU said.
In 2017, the 28-nation bloc exported $5.99 billion worth of steel products to the United States, and 1.25 billion dollars of aluminum, making it the top exporter of steel to the United States and fifth aluminum exporter.