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Russia urges US to explain motives of selective approach towards steel suppliers

The US introduced new duties on steel and aluminum products

GENEVA, March 23. /TASS/. Russia wants to receive explanations from the United States regarding the motives for the selective approach when introducing duties for steel and aluminum suppliers to the US market, a Russian delegate in the WTO said on Friday at the meeting of the WTO Goods Council.

"25% duties on steel and 10% duties on aluminum are definitely above related levels" of US commitments in the WTO, the Russian delegate said. "It means sudden export restrictions worth $3.2 bln" for Russian exporters, he said.

Moscow treats the fact that new US duties will not apply by May 1 against products of certain countries, including the EU member-states, as the selective approach towards suppliers. "The selective treatment of different suppliers goes beyond the framework of any reasonable understanding of the most favored nation regime," the Russian delegate said.

The Russian delegation requested the US delegation to explain exceptions for the majority of steel and aluminum suppliers upon introduction of duties and criteria followed by the United States. Russia believes that such actions of the US can lead to growth of protectionism on other markets.

The United States introduced new duties on steel and aluminum products. Duties will not temporarily apply to products from Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and South Korea until May 1.