MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia intends to negotiate with the United States an exemption from the latter’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum as part of its response measures to Washington’s decision, Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Evtukhov told Sputnik Monday.
“The first and most important response is to appeal the decision in the World Trade Organization dispute resolution body… Another measure is to examine the list of goods which are important for the United States to export into Russia and to restrict the access of such goods. The third process is to negotiate the tax exemption for us, considering that there are enterprises on US territory which also belong to our companies,” Evtukhov said.
The deputy minister affirmed that these enterprises had large output volumes, and the limitations would trigger a rise in prices for end users in the United States as well as employment loss for US citizens who work there if the enterprises are to be closed.
In March, US President Donald Trump signed an order to impose a 25-percent import tax on steel and 10-percent import tax on aluminum. The new tariffs are to be in place for an indefinite period of time, but the European Union and six other US allies — Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea — were given a temporary exemption until May 1.
Expulsion of Russian Diplomats
The statement, however, was made several hours before the US announcement of their decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats over Skripal’s poisoning, claimed by the UK to be Moscow’s fault.
US President Donald Trump ordered earlier in the day to close of the Russian Consulate in Seattle in response to the Skripal case.
Previously, UK Prime Minister Theresa May ordered to expel 23 Russian diplomats as a punitive measure.