Russian Federation joins call for U.S. tariff consultations

21 April, 2018, 03:32 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Trade minister Suresh Prabhu

Russia has sent a request to the WTO on Thursday to hold consultations with the U.S. on the steel and aluminum duties imposed by Washington, Russia's Ambassador to the WTO Gennady Ovechko told TASS.

The consultations however dont fall under the World Trade Organisations (WTOs) dispute settlement system.

The US had last month imposed high import duties on certain steel and aluminium products.

Russian Federation adhered to the same tactic used by the European Union in challenging the tariffs under the WTO's Safeguards Agreement, even though Washington has not characterised the measures as safeguards.

On this request, according to a government official, the U.S. has stated that the taxes imposed are not safeguard duties.

China is the only country that has pursued that course and India has asked to be present at negotiations with the USA on the issue.

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"In accordance with Article 12.3 read with Article 8.1 of the Agreement on Safeguards, India seeks to exercise its right to consult on the specifics of the measures and its right to determine appropriate trade compensation with the U.S.", the submission added.

Some others on the original list of targeted partners by the United States, such as Canada, Mexico, the EU, Australia, Argentina and South Korea, have got a reprieve.

A WTO website note said India has requested the establishment of a dispute resolution panel under Article 21.5 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) mechanism against United States imposing countervailing duties on certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products.

Gao reiterated that US Section 232 and Section 301 measures to slap tariffs on Chinese products seriously violate WTO rules.

A Geneva-based trade official said the move was an expected, but not mandatory, step that buys Washington time to flesh out its differences with Beijing.

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