Russia threatens retaliatory tariffs against US

Russia began a challenge against the US tariffs at the WTO last month, but the document now qualifies those as "safeguard measures".

Published: 22nd May 2018 10:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2018 10:36 PM   |  A+A-

By AFP

MOSCOW: Russia may impose retaliatory tariffs of nearly $540 million on US goods in response to US duties on steel and aluminium, according to a document Moscow circulated Tuesday at the World Trade Organization.

Russia began a challenge against the US tariffs at the WTO last month, but the document now qualifies those as "safeguard measures," saying that international trade rules allow it to quickly apply duties on an equivalent amount of US goods.

US President Donald Trump sparked fears of a trade war in March when he decided to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminium imports over national security concerns.

Russia calculated that the US tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum were worth nearly $538 million.

"The proposed suspension of substantially equivalent concessions ... takes the form of an increase in duty on selected products originating in the United States," said the Russian document.

It said 30 days notice would be provided on which goods would be subject to the increased duties and would remain in effect until the United States withdrew the additional steel and aluminum tariffs.

While the United States has provided temporary waivers to the tariffs to certain countries, including EU nations, the increased duties have gone into effect for Russia. 

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