EU foreign ministers approve steel strategy against U.S.

Monday, June 10th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Luxembourg-AP) -- European Union foreign ministers are backing proposals calling for retaliatory tariffs on US exports.

This is despite conciliatory moves by the United States to exempt some European steel products.

EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy says today's decision will send a ``clear political signal'' to Washington that the EU will not be lured into seeking individual deals.

The EU is challenging the Bush administration's decision to impose tariffs on imported steel to the World Trade Organization, but is moving to enact measures of its own while the case is heard.

Since 1998, the US steel industry has been devastated by low-cost foreign imports.

Dozens of companies have filed for bankruptcy, and some have closed.

President Bush imposed the tariffs to give the industry some time to regroup. But the EU says the tariffs are illegal under World Trade Organization rules.

A decision by the World Trade Organization is not expected for another two years.