Mexico to file WTO complaint over US tariffs: Ministry
MEXICO CITY-Agence France-Presse
Mexico said on June 4 it will file a complaint with the World Trade Organization over U.S. tariffs on its steel and aluminum.Mexico said on June 4 it will file a complaint with the World Trade Organization over U.S. tariffs on its steel and aluminum.
The economy ministry said it will “initiate a dispute settlement process under the umbrella” of the WTO, and that its actions will “continue to follow the state of international commercial law and will be proportional to the damage that Mexico regrettably received.”
Both the European Union and Canada have already opened legal challenges to the United States at the WTO, the Geneva-based arbitrator of international trade disputes that is loathed by President Donald Trump who on June 1 imposed duties of 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum against his allies.
Mexico submits that the tariffs, imposed on the grounds of national security, were not adopted in accordance with relevant WTO procedures and also violate the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
Immediately following the move by Trump, Mexico said it would impose retaliatory duties on a variety of U.S. goods, including steel and a host of agricultural products including apples, cheeses and pork.
Those penalties will remain in place “until the United States government eliminates tariffs imposed,” Mexico’s government said.
Other U.S. allies have also reacted with fury and retaliation, with fears building of a global trade war.
Ottawa hit back with proportional $12.8 billion in tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum as well as consumer goods.
The tariff dispute comes as Canada, Mexico and the U.S. try to reach an agreement to update the North American Free Trade Agreement in talks triggered last year by Trump’s discontent with that deal.
Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Washington’s decision to impose the tariffs had lessened the chances for a successful outcome of the NAFTA talks.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, spoke as soon as Washington announced the new duties.
“These unilateral tariffs, imposed under a false pretext of safeguarding U.S. national security, are inconsistent with the United States’ international trade obligations and WTO rules,” Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on June 1 after her country filed its WTO complaint.