The United States government has taken the long-expected step of imposing a hefty tariff on primary aluminium and derivative products imported from the Russian Federation last week, opting to place a 200 percent increased tariff on all such imports.
The tariff, which will take effect in March, is a de facto ban on Russian aluminium. The tariff comes under the auspices of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The Trump administration levied aluminium imports from Russia (among many other countries) after an investigation of the national security ramifications of low-cost imported aluminium the administration launched shortly after coming to power.
The announcement came on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. The new tariffs are part of a wider comprehensive plan by the administration to support Ukraine and impose a cost upon Russia that is minimally harmful to the American economy.
Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo spoke on behalf of the US government in a press release, explaining the importance of such a move.
“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.”
“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,” she continued.
“The United States and our global alliance will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes. And we will continue to work to hold Russia accountable and seek justice for the atrocities being committed in Ukraine.”
The Biden administration applied new tariffs on over 100 Russian metals, minerals, and chemicals that combined total an estimated US$2.8 billion.