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Steel War: US Metals Tariffs May Lead to Russian Reprisals

© REUTERS / Leah MillisU.S. President Donald Trump gives out pens he used to sign presidential proclamations placing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to workers from the steel and aluminum industries at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 8, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump gives out pens he used to sign presidential proclamations placing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to workers from the steel and aluminum industries at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 8, 2018 - Sputnik International
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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich announced Friday that Russia is contemplating retaliation measures following US President Donald Trump’s decision to impose stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

According to Dvorkovich, the country's metallurgical companies will present their propositions for responses over the course of several days. Parliament plans on discussing them in the second half of the month, following the economic forum in Krasnoyarsk from April 12 to 14.

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Earlier in March, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade spokesman said the department had started working out possible countermeasures in response to US protectionist policies, adding that after negotiating with Washington, Russia may appeal to the World Trade Organization.

On March 23, Trump followed through on a campaign pledge and imposed a 25 percent tariff on imports of steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum, though excluding Canada and Mexico and hinting that other countries could be spared on the basis of national security. Experts have warned that the tariffs could spark a major trade war.

READ MORE: US Treasury Secretary: There is Potential For US Trade War With China

Russia is among the top exporters of steel and aluminum to the US. However, analysts have said the country's metal and mining companies face relatively little harm from any tariffs on steel and aluminum imports imposed by the US.

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Dvorkovich agreed with the assessment, saying he expected some damage to Russia from the new duties, but added that any harm would be more significant for the European Union and China.

China swiftly responded to Trump's tariffs with economic restrictions of its own and has officially initiated dispute settlement proceedings in the WTO, according to the Chinese Commerce Ministry.

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