US imposes heavy aluminum tariffs on Russia on Ukraine war anniversary

US imposes heavy aluminum tariffs on Russia on Ukraine war anniversary

WASHINGTON – The United States will impose a 200% tariff on aluminum and derivatives produced in Russia from March 10, the White House said on Friday, in effect an embargo as it announced the sanctions on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The United States will also impose a 200% tariff on aluminum imports of primary aluminum produced in Russia from April 10.

Russian aluminum is produced by Rusal, which accounts for about 6% of global supply.

“Alcoa welcomes the US government’s imposition of tariffs on Russian aluminium,” the US aluminum producer said. “We continue to advocate for sanctions as the most effective means for the government to take action against Russia and level the playing field for American producers.”

Neither the Russian metal nor the companies that produce it have been targeted by sanctions imposed on some Russian companies in response to Russia sending troops into Ukraine last year.

However, in 2018, US Treasury Department sanctions on Rusal halted the bulk of the company’s exports, crippling its supply chain and sending S.carAdd customers.

The sanctions also fueled a jump in aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange, which on Friday shrugged off news of tariffs because the Russian metal accounts for only a small part of US aluminum imports.

Aluminum prices, important to the transportation, packaging and construction industries, were down 2% at $8,727 a tonne by 1537 GMT. Earlier it had touched $2,321.5, which is the lowest level since January 9.

US imports of raw aluminum and alloys from Russia totaled 191,809 tonnes, or about 4.4% of the more than 4.4 million tonnes total last year, compared with 8.9% in 2018 and 14.6% in 2017, according to Trade Data Monitor.

Rusal declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Analysts say if Russia decides to retaliate with a 200% tariff on aluminium, it could potentially limit exports of nickel or palladium.

Data from the Trade Data Monitor (TDM) shows that about 11% of the 92,624 tons of nickel imported by the United States last year came from Russia and that Russian palladium shipments, at 20 tons, made up about 35% of US imports.

Nickel is important to the aerospace industry and electric vehicle batteries. Palladium, meanwhile, is a key component for gasoline-fueled autocatalysts. carS.

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