Washington plans to impose a 200% customs duty on imports of aluminum from Russia, Bloomberg reported on Monday citing sources close to the discussions.
According to the report, the measure may be introduced as early as this week. Bloomberg also noted that such a large tariff would effectively put an end to US purchases of the Russian metal, which would triple in price.
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Russia is the world’s second-biggest producer of aluminum after China, with a global market share of nearly 6%. Russian-supplied aluminum used to cover roughly 10% of US imports.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, Washington began contemplating a ban on the metal from Russia as part of Ukraine-related sanctions. Also, sources have claimed that Russia has been dumping aluminum on the US market at the expense of American competitors.
There have been concerns regarding the potential damage to US industries if Washington introduced an outright ban on Russian aluminum, as well as worries that such a step could disrupt global supplies and drive up the price on the world market.
The White House National Security Council did not respond to the report. Russia’s major aluminum producer, Rusal, also declined to comment.
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Although Russian metals and the companies that produce them have not been directly targeted by Western sanctions, many buyers have shunned imports from the country amid sanctions pressure. US aluminum producer Alcoa lobbied last year to have Russian aluminum excluded from the London Metal Exchange, but the bourse refused.
In December, Russian Trade Minister Denis Manturov said Moscow would be redirecting its metal exports from Western countries to alternative markets due to sanctions. He named China, Türkiye, South East Asia, member states of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union and CIS countries as priority areas for diversifying supplies.