MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The subcommittee on customs, tariff, non-tariff regulation and protective measures in foreign trade, chaired by Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin, held a meeting to consider a reciprocal response to the US steel tariff hike, the ministry’s press service said on Monday.
“The meeting participants discussed the possibility of introducing, in accordance with the WTO [World Trade Organization] rules, reciprocal ‘compensatory’ measures with respect to certain imports from the United States if mutually acceptable agreements on compensation are not reached with the US side,” the ministry said in a statement.
The discussion is connected with the decision 25-percent tariffs for steel imports and 10-percent tariffs for aluminum imports introduced in March by US President Donald Trump for national security reasons. The measures took effect on March 23, but temporary exemptions were given to some of US allies until May 1. On Tuesday, Washington extended the exemptions for the European Union, Canada and Mexico for 30 days in order to make time for talks on the terms of steel and aluminum imports.
Commenting on the move in late March, Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Evtukhov said losses for Russian metal producers might amount to $2 billion from the steel tariffs and $1 billion from the aluminum tariffs.
In mid-April, Russia requested consultations with the United States within the WTO over the tariffs issue.