posted on Jan, 15 2004 @ 10:57 AM
BRUSSELS/GENEVA (Reuters) - The European Union, risking fresh tensions with Washington, on Thursday asked for the go ahead to slap trade sanctions on
the United States just as efforts get under way to revive global commerce talks.
The EU was set to be joined in its request, lodged with the Geneva-based WTO, later on Thursday by nine nations including Japan, China, Brazil, India
and South Korea.
The sanctions, which could run to hundreds of millions of dollars of duties on U.S. goods, aim to force Washington to revoke a scheme under which
local companies benefit when anti-dumping duties are imposed on foreign competitors.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has repeatedly ruled the measure, known as the "Byrd amendment," illegal.
"The Byrd amendment has raised widespread concerns from the outset as evidenced by the large number of complainants in this case," European Trade
Commissioner Pascal Lamy said.
A further indication of the growing rift between the EU and USA.This is right on the heels of the Steel Tariffs which were withdrawn at the last
minute before Europe could legally take action according to the WTO rules but after they had caused alot of damage.
My personal view is that a trade war is almost certainly on the cards.
Bush has been playing around with the EU and the WTO and he doesn't have many friends in Europe now.
Europes politicians will relish the prospect of exposing the USA financial weakness in the run up to a Presidential election.
The damage that Europe could expect might be acceptable if it meant no 2nd term for Bush.
[Edited on 15-1-2004 by SkepticOverlord]