Russia Files Claim to WTO over U.S. Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

Russia has filed a claim against the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over American tariffs on aluminum and steel product imports, the press office of Russian minister of economic development Maxim Oreshkin said.

“The Russian Federation has requested WTO dispute consultations with the United States regarding U.S. duties on certain imported steel and aluminum products. The request was circulated to WTO members on 2 July,” the press service said, according to TASS.

Russia’s move represents the seventh claim to WTO over the U.S. tariffs, following similar steps by China, India, Mexico, Norway, the European Union and Canada.

“Russia claims the U.S. duties of 25% and 10% on imports of steel and aluminum products respectively are inconsistent with provisions of the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 and the Agreement on Safeguards,” the WTO press service reports. This is the seventh complaint initiated by WTO members against U.S. duties on steel and aluminum. China, India, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Norway filed similar complaints to WTO earlier.

Oreshkin had hinted at the possibility of a WTO complaint in early June, and separately threatened to levy $537.6 million in duties against some U.S. goods. The ministry is determining which U.S. goods will be targeted with duties and is working on submitting a draft proposal to the government.

Russia’s aluminum giant Rusal remains subject to U.S. sanctions, irrespective of the Section 232 tariffs. The world’s second-largest aluminum producer’s forced exit from the American market has caused U.S. aluminum premiums to soar.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump imposed the steel and aluminum tariffs on March 23.