MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. The United States is abusing its interpretation of national security to justify its unfair competition practices, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.
She drew attention to the decision of the WTO dispute settlement body, which stated that Washington should bring its policy into line with WTO rules, after the US had imposed additional duties on imported aluminum and steel.
"And now the upshot: how did the administration of [US President Joe] Biden respond to this? <…> On the same day, the office of the US trade representative strongly rejected the conclusions of the arbitrators. <…> Washington stressed that the United States had no intention of lifting duties on steel and aluminum, and accused the WTO of bias, inefficiency and inaction in relation to the non-market practices of China and other states," Zakharova said.
"It is obvious that the United States is abusing the broad interpretation of national security, using it solely to justify its unfair competition practices and simply not seeing anything shameful in the frankly dishonest, illegal actions by which it maintains its competitiveness," the diplomat stated.
The diplomat stressed that the unilateral protectionist measures of the US, as well as the sanctions they impose, run counter to the principles of a market economy and freedom of competition.
"There is yet another attempt by Washington to show its superiority in the world, at least in such a savage, barbaric way," Zakharova went on.
"They do this by violating multilateral treaties and agreements, with absolutely blatant disregard for their own obligations to their own allies and friends first of all, not to mention partners. This is the concept of America First in all its ugliness."
In 2018, the WTO imposed 25% duties on steel and 10% on aluminum imported from China, Norway, Turkey and Switzerland. The WTO arbitration recognized the duties as a violation of the organization's rules. The panel rulings that heard the four countries’ lawsuits said that the arbitrators recommend that the United States bring its measures contrary to WTO rules into line with its obligations under the 1994 GATT agreement (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). The 1994 GATT is a multilateral interstate agreement on the legal regulation of trade in goods, and is one of the fundamental legal instruments of the WTO.