Turkey wins case against US tariffs at WTO

Turkey wins case against US tariffs at WTO

ISTANBUL
Turkey wins case against US tariffs at WTO

Turkey has won its first appeal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against additional U.S. tariffs imposed on steel imports, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said on Dec. 19.

The U.S had imposed the countervailing tariffs in question on the ground that steel products from Turkey were subsidized, Pekcan added.

“We previously won a similar appeal against Morocco. We have a professional team, we will continue to do great jobs,” the minister said, speaking at a ceremony in Istanbul.

The U.S. had already imposed 10 percent and 25 percent additional tariffs on aluminum and steel imports respectively from all countries on March 23.

However, in August, U.S. President Donald Trump decided to double tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Turkey to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Trump tweeted at that time that he had authorized the doubling of tariffs, noting that “aluminum will now be 20 percent and steel 50 percent. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

In retaliation, Turkey increased tariffs on several U.S.-origin products, including alcohol, tobacco products and cars.

Turkey reciprocated by doubling additional duty on 22 U.S. products, tallying $533 million.

In August, Turkey requested WTO dispute consultations with the United States concerning additional import duties imposed by the United States on steel and aluminum products.

Turkey claims that the measures are inconsistent with a number of provisions of the WTO’s Agreement on Safeguards and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994.

Turkey’s iron, steel, and aluminum exports to the U.S. were $1.1 billion in 2017—0.7 percent of total exports, according to the ministry’s statement.

Turkey’s steel exports were valued at $11.5 billion last year, accounting for 7.3 percent of its total exports worth $157 billion, according to the Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association.

The U.S. was the top destination for Turkish steel exports in 2017.

Turkey came in sixth place among the countries the U.S. imported steel from last year, while the share of Turkish steel was 7 percent of total U.S. steel imports.

Turkey’s steel exports continued their upward trend, rising 35.2 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months of 2018, reaching $12.4 billion, the Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association (CIB) said in November.

Steel exports soared 15.5 percent to 16.8 million tons this January-October compared to the same period in 2017.

In October, steel exports rose 46.3 percent year-on-year, reaching 2.2 million tons, while value-wise, exports climbed 46.9 percent year-on-year, reaching $1.49 billion.

Turkey, United States, tariffs, WTO