Washington is taking a new action against Moscow’s mining sector by raising import levies on over 100 Russian metals, minerals and chemical products, the White House said in a statement published on Friday. The move comes on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
According to the statement, the measures are “designed to target key Russian commodities generating revenue for the Kremlin while reducing US reliance on Russia.”
“Today’s action will result in increased tariffs on more than 100 Russian metals, minerals, and chemical products worth approximately $2.8 billion to Russia. It will also significantly increase costs for aluminum that was smelted or cast in Russia to enter the US market in order to counter harm to the domestic aluminum industry, which is being squeezed by energy costs as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the statement read, without specifying further details. Earlier this month reports emerged that Washington planned to slap Russian aluminum with a 200% import tariff.
In addition, the US will impose export restrictions on 90 companies from Russia, and other third countries including China, for allegedly “engaging in sanction evasion and backfill activities in support of Russia’s defense sector.” The move will ban the targeted companies from buying goods made either in the US, or elsewhere with the use of US technology or software.
According to the statement, US President Joe Biden is to sign the new restrictions later on Friday.
The US, along with other Western countries, imposed unprecedented sanctions against Russia over the past year in response to Moscow’s military operation in neighboring Ukraine. The measures affected trade, energy exports, investment, finance, and tourism, among other spheres of the Russian economy, saw hundreds of Russian individuals blacklisted, and roughly half of Russian foreign currency reserves frozen.
Russian metals and their producers have not been directly targeted by Western restrictions before, but many buyers have shunned imports from the country over the past months amid sanctions pressure. In December, Russian Trade Minister Denis Manturov said Moscow would be redirecting its metal exports from Western countries to alternative markets, with China, Türkiye, member states of the Eurasian Economic Union and CIS countries as priorities.
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