Russia is joining an increasing number of countries that dispute the legality of import taxes on steel and aluminium imposed by the United States in April this year as a result of the Section 232 investigation.
The country's economy ministry has requested from the WTO for an arbitration panel to be set up to following a series of formal consultations on 30 August. The consultations failed to produce a mutually beneficial ways of resolving the dispute, the Russian ministry says.
In addition to Russia, China, India, the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey are already disputing the tariffs. Should other countries join Russia, Turkey and the EU in asking WTO for arbitration in the matter, United States will be forced to defend the tarriffs on several panels, the ministry adds.
The EU authorites already filed a request to the WTO and its dispute settlement body to establish a panet on 18 October, with Russia joining the move on the same day. The EU consultations were conducted in July and also failed to settled the dispute, as previously reported by Kallanish. Consultations were also requested by China, Turkey and Norway.
The US response to the EU, India and Turkey was the denial of the measures being classified as safeguard, but insisting that they fall under national security blanket, while adding that it is still open to discussions.
Turkish steelmakers, meanwhile, having glimpsed a glimmer of hope that their 50% tariffs will be reduced to the initial 25% following the release of the US pastor from Turkish imprisonment over a month ago, are becoming less hopeful as time passes by, again, due to the US insisting that the tariffs are the matter of national security and not safeguarding, several sources told Kallanish at the recent Turkish flat steel forum in Istanbul last week.