Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H) has given Norway’s stance concerning the United States new metal tariffs and their impact upon Norwegian exports, saying that Norway’s exports aren’t a threat to the United States and tariff exemptions should apply.
“We’ve clearly conveyed to the United States, both in Washington and in Oslo, that Norway’s exports aren’t a threat. It’s serious and worrying that the U.S. has introduced these trade barriers. We expect the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) rules to be respected and Norway treated with due equality among the nations,” stated Søreide.
Norwegian officials first learned of Norway being subject to the new U.S new steel and aluminum tariffs just last Thursday and have since been seeking exemption relief through diplomatic channels.
Kenneth Braithwaite, United States ambassador to Norway addressed the issue of Norway not being included among exempted nations with newspaper Adresseavisen, saying “When it comes to such complicated agreements, information is not always readily available. Decisions of individual nations have not been completely finalized and hopefully, we can find a solution that benefits both the U.S. and Norway.”
The new tariffs came into force on Friday, March 23rd and applies a 25% surcharge on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports against foreign trade in these metals.
A handful of U.S. allies were issued temporary tariff injunctions by the Trump administration, with Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the E.U., and South Korea joining already exempt Canada and Mexico.
The countries most likely to be hardest hit by steel tariffs will be Japan,Russia and Turkey.
President Trump stated that he wants tariffs to apply to all countries,arguing that if one country was exempt, all other countries would ask for similar exemption, and that steel and aluminum metals would end up being shipped through exempted countries to bypass tariffs.
The metals industry is among Norway’s largest export industries. Norwegian companies are major producers of aluminium and ferro alloys, with Norway also producing iron and steel, magnesium,nickel and zinc.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today