On 8 March 2018, the United States introduced trade defence measures in the form of additional duties on certain steel and aluminum imports. According to the US, the measures are justified for national security reasons. Since 8 February 2020, certain derivative steel and aluminum products are also subject to these additional import duties.
In response to the US measures, the EU introduced measures to prevent undesired effects such as trade diversion and the resulting influx of low-priced steel and aluminum imports onto the European market.
With its export-oriented economy and globally active businesses, Switzerland has a vital interest in preventing protectionist trade policy measures and in resolving disputes based on international trade agreements. It therefore strives to establish and maintain stable and predictable trade relations with its partners.