Additional tariffs are set to be imposed by the US this week on imports of aluminum from Russia, with Washington stepping up economic pressure on Moscow as the war in Ukraine enters its second year.
Shipments of aluminum and derived products entering the country as of Friday March 10th will be subject to duties of 200 percent, while from April 10th, the penalties will also be extended to primary aluminum imports.
When added to pre-existing penalties on Russian products, it will mean the metals will be subject to tariffs totaling up to 270 per cent of their value. Overall, the US government estimates that the move will impact more than 100 Russian metals, minerals and chemical products worth around $2.8 billion a year.
In a statement to coincide with the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month, US secretary of commerce Gina Raimondo said the tariffs will increase pressure on Moscow, while also minimizing costs for the US and protecting the country's own industries and workers.
She added: "President Biden has made it a priority to mitigate the effects of Russia's invasion on domestic industries critical to our national security, and this includes the American aluminum industry. In imposing these tariffs, we are denying Russia an important market for its aluminum while taking a stand for America's workers."
According to Reuters, citing figures from Trade Data Monitor, US imports of unwrought aluminum and alloys from Russia amounted to 191,809 tonnes in 2021, or roughly 4.4 percent of total shipments. This was down from 8.9 percent in 2018 and 14.6 percent in 2017.
Western nations are continuing to impose a wide range of economic sanctions against Russian companies and individuals. In February, the EU also added new export restrictions on sensitive dual-use and advanced technologies such as electronic components that may be used in Russian weapons systems, as well as vehicles, construction equipment and manufacturing tools.