Shipping cranes stand on the harbor at the port beside the frozen River Ob in Nizhnevartovsk, Russia. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Russia Slaps Import Duties on Some U.S. Goods in Tariffs Fight

(Bloomberg) -- Russia slapped import duties on some U.S. products in retaliation for Washington’s decision to penalize its metals sales, the latest shot in a burgeoning global trade war.

Duties of 25 percent to 40 percent of the value of imported products will be imposed on some U.S. equipment used in construction, oil and gas, metal processing and fiber optics, Economy Ministry Maxim Oreshkin said in a statement on Friday, following a government decree.

Russia is joining with other U.S. trade partners, including the European Union, China, India and Canada, in challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. They’ve filed complaints about the U.S. action at the World Trade Organization.

Russia’s retaliation only provides $87.6 million in compensation for the estimated $537.6 million of economic damage caused by the U.S. barriers, Oreshkin said. The government can introduce further compensatory measures either after three years of the U.S. action, starting from March 21, 2021, or in response to a WTO decision, he said.

Russia’s new tariffs will support domestic companies that produce the same goods and they’ll replace U.S. supplies, according to Oreshkin.

The U.S. is Russia’s sixth-largest trading partner, according to the ministry, with turnover of $23.1 billion in 2017. Imports from the U.S. totaled $12.5 billion, with aircraft, vehicles and pharmaceuticals among the largest individual components.

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