Russia demands compensation over US steel & aluminum tariffs

Russia demands compensation over US steel & aluminum tariffs
Moscow has sent a request to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to challenge the US decision to levy duties on steel and aluminum imports, according to a Russian statement published by the WTO on Thursday.

“Although the United States presented the measures at issue as being adopted to address the threat that imports of steel and aluminum pose to the US national security, they are in essence safeguard measures,” the statement says.

Washington introduced tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum products in March. The duties were increased by 25 percent for some steel products, and 10 percent for aluminum products. The tariffs took effect on March 23.

Earlier, China and India also addressed the WTO with objections, claiming that the tariffs were “safeguards” to protect the sector against a surge of imports. In accordance with WTO rules, safeguard measures should trigger payments from the US to major exporters.

The White House insists that the duties are based on national security factors and are beyond the remit of the WTO rules, callings compensation claims unjustified. At the same time, the US agreed to negotiate with China in relation to the matter, and told India and the EU that it was open to “discuss this or any other issue.”

Russia’s request marks the first time the country has issued a WTO dispute complaint against the US since it joined the body six years ago. Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Australia and the EU have reportedly won temporary exemptions from the application of the tariffs, pending talks with the United States.

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