Norway sues Trump over Import taxes

Import taxes, Trump MerkelChancellor Angela Merkel and Donald J. Trump. Image: Sky*Epa

Norway sues Trump over Import taxes on aluminium

Norway believes that the United States’s added Import taxes on steel and aluminium is in violation of the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and sues the United States.


On March 23rd, the US imposed duties on certain steel and aluminium products of 25 and 10 per cent respectively ostensibly to protect their own industry. Trump’s added taxes cause Norway to react.

– We believe that the US’s added duty on steel and aluminium is in violation of the WTO regulations. The dispute resolution mechanism of WTOis the common way to resolve conflicts when they haven’t been solved through dispute resolution consultations. – Therefore, we have asked the WTO to establish a dispute resolution panel on the US added duties together with the EU and several other nations, says Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide (Conservatives).

Independent assessment

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states in a press release that Norway and several other WTO countries want an independent assessment of the issue, and such panel treatment will be a form of arbitration that will last about one year. According to the Cabinet Minister, the case is principal for Norway and Norwegian industry.

– Even though our direct exports of steel and aluminium to the United States are modest, this case is fundamentally important to us. An open economy like Norway’s is dependent on that the rule-based multilateral systems are functional. The Government is facing the music on behalf of Norwegian industries that are subjected to unlawful trade restrictions and defends the rule-based trading system, Søreide elaborates.

The added duties introduced by the United States affect the Norwegian industry, and Norwegian steel and aluminium exports adversely affected by the illegal customs duties were to the tune of NOK 36 million in 2017. The corresponding total value for exports to the United States was around NOK 90 million.

Warned of countermeasures

After the President of the United States earlier this year introduced the extra taxes, it evoked anger in a number of European countries, as well as in Canada and Mexico. The measure was justified as a matter of US national security, which raised the eyebrows of several US allies.

Several trading partners announced straight away that they would launch countermeasures, something President Donald John Trump warned against doing.

At the G7 Summit in Canada in June, Trump stated that the United States would do all which he deemed necessary to prevent unfair trade practices.

– The US has been abused for decades, and that must come to an end, the US President thundered in connection with the summit.

Read more in the UK newspaper The Express.



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