Story dated 10th June 2002.

As detailed in our previous article, it looks like pinball games could be caught in the proposed trade sanctions imposed by the European Union on goods from the United States in response to increased tariffs by the US on EU steel. These sanctions, if they go ahead, could lead to a doubling in the price of pinball games imported from the US.

Events have moved on and the European Commission's proposals have now been passed by ministers. This brings the possibility of the price hike much closer.

Originally, the intention was to apply them from June 18th but this has been put back to allow the US to detail the changes they intend to make to their policy and compensation for those affected. These details are expected on July 3rd and the European Commission will report back by July 19th.

If there is no progress in discussions with the US, the EU's ministers will decide by August 1st whether to go ahead with the retaliatory sanctions. If progress is achieved, the sanctions will be delayed until October 12.

The delay in implementing the sanctions is seen as giving the US side a chance to make serious proposals, but the 15 EU Foreign Ministers fully support the use of tit-for-tat measures if the US fails to come up with serious proposals.

European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said: "We are not upping the ante or anything like that. We are showing firmness and we are grateful to the Council for having given this firm show of solidarity."

We will, of course, follow this story closely and keep you updated on all the developments.

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