The Russian government intends to place customs duties on American goods in response to Donald Trump’s administration policy, Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin said on Tuesday.
These measures will be a response to the American tariffs on steel and aluminum from Russia, which have been in force since April. The tariffs will cause the Russian economy to lose roughly $500 million per year. The US has refused to compensate these losses, and so Moscow intends to introduce “balancing measures with respect to imports from the US”, using its rights in the World Trade Organization, Interfax cites Oreshkin as saying.
The list of goods which will become more expensive due to the import duties will be decided by the Ministry of Economic Development over the next few days. It will only affect goods which already have analogues in the Russian market.
No medicines will be blacklisted, “consumers will not suffer”, Oreshkin emphasized.
Road construction equipment will be among the goods placed under the new tariffs. The importation of bulldozers, graders, excavators and rollers may account for as much as $104 million in imports per year, the Federal Customs Service of Russia estimates. The US Department of Commerce places this figure higher – at $270 million per year.
The largest producer of road construction equipment in Russia is Oleg Deripaska’s GAZ Group. Both Deripaska and his company were placed under US sanctions at the start of April.
Russia is incapable of inflicting any significant damage on the American economy: the US gets only 4% from foreign trade, explained senior research fellow Yuriy Zaytsev from the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
On March 23, US President Donald Trump introduced a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% on aluminum, citing “national security” concerns.
The EU, Canada and Mexico were given a postponement, which expired at the start of June.
In Russia, the American blow will be felt primarily by pipe manufacturers – NLMK, TMK and Evraz, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade stated in April. It will not be possible to quickly redirect the shipments to other markets, and Moscow intends to dispute the introduction of the tariffs in the World Trade Organization, the department’s press secretary said.