The European Union (EU) on Monday requested consultations with the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Washington's move to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, WTO sources said on Tuesday.
"Notwithstanding the United States' characterisation of these measures as security measures, they are in essence safeguard measures," the EU said in its request.
Claiming that Washington had failed to notify the WTO Committee on Safeguards about its decision to apply safeguard measures, the EU requested consultations with the United States under the Agreement on Safeguards, which sets forth the rules for applying safeguard measures.
Despite widespread dissent from business groups and trade partners around the world, U.S. President Donald Trump on March 8 signed proclamations to impose a 25-percent tariff on imported steel and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum.
The 28-nation EU is temporarily exempt from the tariffs.