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WTO Dispute Over Metal Tariffs Delayed With Countries Blocking Action

  • Disputes likely to advance at WTO’s November dispute meeting
  • National security disputes to put WTO in a difficult position
Molten liquid copper is poured into moulds from the furnace at a copper refinery in Norilsk, Russia.
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
Updated on

Requests for the World Trade Organization to hear disputes related to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs were delayed on procedural grounds Monday, putting off any action until November.

In a volley of filings this month, WTO members including the European Union, China and the U.S. escalated disputes over the new metal duties, justified on national security grounds, and the European response to them. Each member can block an initial call for a dispute panel once -- a fairly standard WTO maneuver -- meaning the applications could be granted at the next meeting in November.