The US is said to be considering imposing tariffs of up to 200 percent on imports of aluminum products from Russia as it aims to increase economic pressure on Moscow, it has been reported.
It was initially noted by Bloomberg that a decision could come as early as this week, but an official in the US government told Reuters that, while the idea is under consideration, a final decision has yet to be made and no formal announcement is imminent.
As well as a further response to the invasion of Ukraine, the Bloomberg report also noted the US is targeting the Russian market with anti-dumping measures after Moscow exported aluminum to the US market below cost.
However, Reuters noted that any move may only have a limited impact, as the US has made efforts to diversify its supplies of metals in recent years, with Russian aluminum now only accounting for three percent of US imports - down from its traditional level of around ten percent.
Bloomberg noted that if enacted, the proposed tariffs would effectively end US imports of Russian aluminum, most of which is in the form of value-added items rather than bulk products. Buyers in the US range from building and construction to the automotive sector.
Russian aluminum importers are already subject to tariffs of ten percent imposed in 2018 under the administration of Donald Trump - a move that was recently determined to be in breach of World Trade Organization rules, although the US is appealing the decision.
Imports of aluminum foil from Russia are also subject to existing anti-dumping tariffs of 62.2 percent.
While global prices for aluminum peaked at over $4,000 per tonne in March 2022, they have since fallen significantly, ranging from around $2,441 to $2,500 per tonne this week on the London Metal Exchange.