Bloomberg, citing an email from Norway’s Foreign Ministry, reported that the World Trade Organization has said that the US violated trade rules when it imposed steel and aluminum tariffs that former US President Mr Donald Trump said were necessary to protect America’s national security Such a ruling, which has yet to be confirmed by the WTO, would undermine one of Mr Trump’s most controversial trade decisions. It could also increase pressure on President Mr Joe Biden to reconsider a series of internationally unpopular tariffs aimed at protecting US manufacturing jobs in swing state voting districts. Such a ruling is unlikely to impact American metal producers because the US can effectively veto it by lodging an appeal at any point in the next 60 days. WTO appeals cannot currently be heard, because the Trump administration paralyzed the appellate body in 2019. The dispute started in 2018, when Mr Trump deployed a little-used Cold War-era law known as Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which allows the president to adjust imports if the Department of Commerce finds evidence of a national-security threat from foreign shipments. The Trump administration moved forward with the tariffs despite a warning from former US Defense Secretary Mr James Mattis that the duties were not necessary for the US to meet its national defense requirements and may have a negative impact on America’s allies.