Russia preparing trade response to US

Russia preparing trade response to US

Russia has started to consider measures to introduce retaliatory duties on the US, Russia's Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Evtukhov said.

Speaking about terms, the deputy minister said that it will be made within a short time. Evtukhov specified that then negotiations with the United States will begin, after which Russia and other countries will apply to the WTO court, TASS reported.

Russia's Deputy Economic Development Minister Alexey Gruzdev, in turn, said yesterday that the Russian authorities are preparing a response to the US decision to impose duties on steel and aluminum.

"Russia is closely following and fully participating in all these processes. We will form our official estimate and make relevant statements. I am not authorized to anticipate the government’s decisions, but they are being prepared," he noted.

Grozdev also said that the Russian trade mission in the United States has actually closed up its operations and this will adversely affect trade and economic ties between the countries.

The decision of the US came into force on March 23. Russia like a number of other countries, did not rule out that it will challenge it in the WTO. Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry estimates that the damage to Russian companies from the US customs duties will amount to at least $3 bln.

The vice-rector of the Academy of Labour and Social Relations Alexander Safonov, speaking to a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Russia, most likely, will follow the path of China. "That is, we should expect the introduction of duties on US pork, beef and, in general, on imported US food products. In addition, reciprocal duties can be introduced on high-tech products, including iPhones and computers," he explained.

Alexander Safonov drew attention to the fact that the United States, in fact, declared a trade war against the whole world. "The European countries were also affected, and the WTO faces hard days due to the fact that the organization will have to deal with this situation," the vice-rector of the Academy of Labour and Social Relations said.

Only the concerted work of all countries affected by the introduction of duties by Washington will help to win in the WTO court. "The procedure of appealing the country's actions in the WTO will take at least two years. Its outcome will largely depend on the policy of the European countries - if they act together with China and Russia, the probability of a positive decision will be high enough. But if they do not, the WTO will delay the verdict as much as possible, because the financial contribution of the US to this organization is very high," Alexander Safonov warned.