UAE mulls trade tribunal referral over US charges
Similar tensions already exist between US airlines and Gulf carriers including Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways.
The US investigation began in October 2015 and follows a complaint from four American firms — two in Missouri, and one each in Illinois and California.
The six Gulf Co-operation Council countries were continuing to study whether to raise import duties on steel, Saleh added. Global steel prices have slumped as Chinese producers, which account for about half of worldwide steel supply, have flooded export markets, sparking protests and antidumping complaints by the US and the EU among others.
The Gulf Co-operation Council secretariat was studying raising the level of duty imposed by Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to help protect domestic steel producers from cheap imports, according to local media reports earlier in 2016.
“There is a proposal on the table and council members are studying it. Hopefully, they will reach the agreement which is not about protecting the market, but protecting the fair competition in the market,” the UAE’s Saleh said.
He declined to give details, but said some Gulf countries had a band that allows duty to rise to 15% and the UAE was open to raising it to that level from its current 5%.
When asked when a decision was expected, he said, “Soon”.
Gulf nations have traditionally kept steel tariffs low to facilitate local booms in building, but the construction sector, in particular in Saudi Arabia, has struggled since oil prices began to fall in mid-2014.