I don’t know enough to make any major comments about this story, but it’s the sort of thing that should interest our readers.
A trade dispute between the US and the EU escalated today as Brussels asked the World Trade Organisation for authorisation to retaliate against an illegal US trade measure.
The EU is seeking to impose sanctions that could run to hundreds of millions of dollars of duties on US goods, with the aim of forcing Washington to revoke a scheme that has been ruled illegal by the WTO.
The dispute over the Byrd amendment is not on the same scale as the steel tariffs, but it illustrates the underlying trade tension between the two blocs, and it comes at a time when the US and the EU are trying to revive stalled world trade talks.
The Byrd amendment allows the US government to distribute proceeds from anti-dumping tariffs to American firms that complain of damage from foreign imports. The WTO made a final ruling in January 2003 that the provision violates trade rules and set a deadline of December 27 for it to be revised, but Washington has so far failed to comply.