Russia was drawn into the world trade war as a "whipping boy"

The government of the Russian Federation for damages of 537 million dollars from American duties on aluminum and steel responded with restrictions on US imports of $ 93 million.
Russia decided to take part in the gradually inflaming world trade war. Following China and the European Union, the Russian Federation will raise tariffs for US imports by responding to protective measures introduced by the United States in March regarding steel and aluminum supplies, Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin said. The damage was assessed by the Russian side at $ 537.6 million, but in the near future, duties will be introduced in the amount of $ 93 million. Mutual claims in world trade are gradually growing - on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump instructed to prepare a new list of restrictions on imports from China - already in the amount of $ 200 billion. The disputes are unlikely to be exhausted until the mid-term elections to the US Congress in November. In general, the world trade war because of its sharpness is unlikely to be long - active participants are more interested in negotiations and new terms of trade, rather than protectionism in itself.

Russia will soon introduce duties on imports from the United States in response to protective tariffs of 25% and 10% on supplies of steel and aluminum, initiated by Washington in March. "Due to the fact that the US continues to apply protective measures in the form of additional import duties on steel and aluminum and refuses to provide compensation for Russia's losses, Russia uses its WTO rights and introduces balancing measures with respect to imports from the United States," he said. Tuesday the head of the Ministry of Economy Maxim Oreshkin. These measures will affect only products that "have analogues in the Russian Federation," and will not have a negative impact on macroeconomic indicators, the minister specified; The list of goods will be formed in the coming days.

Recall, the US imposed duties on a number of suppliers, including Russia, China, Turkey, as early as March 23. On April 19, Russia sent a request to the US for consultations on the measures taken to the WTO, and on May 22 notified the organization of a possible increase in duties on US goods by $ 537.6 million a year. According to the document, this damage was calculated by the Russian side on the basis of the introduced 25% duty on the export of steel from the Russian Federation to the US ($ 1.5 billion of exports) and 10% to aluminum exports ($ 1.6 billion). "$ 537.6 million is the amount within which we have the right to introduce balancing measures. At the first stage, it is less - about $ 93 million, "the Ministry of Economy told Kommersant.

According to Maxim Oreshkin, the list is drawn up so as not to damage Russian consumers and citizens - it will not have medicines, but there will be, in particular, construction and road machinery. A source in domestic engineering says that Russia has "strong positions" in this segment in terms of the production of truck cranes, pipelayers and motor graders and "medium" in the production of bulldozers, backhoe loaders, bulldozers and rollers. According to the interlocutor of "Kommersant" in a foreign concern, in the segment of road construction equipment, for example, excavators may fall under duties, but "almost all Caterpillar excavators bring to the Russian Federation from a Chinese plant." At the same time, the source of Kommersant argues that "the task of the Ministry of Industry and Trade is not easy, I think it will not work," and in 2014, when sanctions were introduced, the trade with the US was very small in comparison with the European one, and now " and even less, the US does not even feel this mosquito bite. " According to the results of 2017, the largest volume of imports from the United States ($ 3.46 billion) fell on aircraft and space vehicles, suborbital and space rockets, another $ 837 million for vehicles, spare parts ($ 365 million), drugs and medical devices ($ 621 million ).

Other countries have already announced their response. China not only sued the WTO but also applies increased duties on imports from the US in the amount of $ 3 billion. The EU, Canada and Mexico, after Washington extended the duties on steel and aluminum to them on June 1, also published their own lists increased tariffs. In particular, the EU countries agreed on an increase in import duties of € 2.8 billion ($ 3.4 billion). The list includes different types of food (whiskey, orange juice, peanut butter, cranberry, etc.), metal products and motorcycles. The total damage from the US protective measures in Brussels is estimated at € 6.4 billion, but the second part of the retaliation (for another € 3.6 billion) will be introduced either in three years (according to WTO norms) or after the decision of the panel of arbitrators of the WTO on the suit , filed by the EU to the United States. In Canada, they promise to introduce retaliatory measures for $ 12.8 billion, in Mexico - $ 2.9 billion.

"According to WTO rules, countries affected by unjustified trade restrictions to compensate for losses have the right to introduce retaliatory measures, without waiting for the results of consideration of their applications to the WTO," Sergei Afontsev, head of the economic theory of the IMEMO RAS, points out. "With respect to American duties on steel and aluminum, several days ago, India has already done so, the relevant decision of the EU is expected. Russia is in a global trend. " If the US wants to enter into a dialogue, the parties will be able to discuss how much the mutual damage is proportionate, but this estimate can take two to three years, the expert points out.

In Washington, on Tuesday, they announced a new round of trade confrontation with China. President of the United States Donald Trump instructed to determine the list of Chinese goods worth $ 200 billion for the introduction of additional duties of 10% in case the PRC will respond to the promised increase in US duties covering imports from China worth $ 50 billion. Recall that last Friday the US announced the introduction from July 6, duties on imports of 818 items totaling $ 34 billion. The Chinese side stated that it will respond symmetrically, having prepared fees for the same amount for 545 items (in the list - electric cars, whiskey, soybeans). On Tuesday, China announced its readiness to introduce "extensive" measures in response to a new threat. However, Beijing is unlikely to be able to publish a response list of American goods for new restrictions: the export of goods from China to the US in 2017 was $ 505.6 billion, while deliveries from the US to China - only $ 130.4 billion. In the business council of the two countries, however , fear that the restrictions may affect the activities of US companies in China - in particular, the issuance of licenses.

According to Oxford Economics, the actual increase in duties in the amount of $ 200 billion from both sides will lead to a slowdown in the US economy by 0.3% of GDP next year. At the same time, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, already announced duties of $ 34 billion will mainly increase costs for international companies operating in China, and not actually Chinese companies.

"The trade war between the US and China is a very real threat. To date, the willingness of both sides to raise rates is evident, increasing duties and extending them to new groups of goods. Where the limits of such escalation and whether they are in general, a big question ", - Sergey Afontsev considers. According to the expert, this is a fundamentally new situation in world trade, since earlier the US has been in favor of maintaining a liberal regime for regulating world trade. However, as David Meyer of Julius Baer points out, the lack of an economic justification for the new duties supports the view that these measures are caused by internal political motives. The bank expects the continuation of trade disputes at least until November, when the US will hold interim congressional elections, and do not consider the scenario of unfolding a full-fledged trade war the main one. It should also be noted that China, the EU, and Russia in recent years have not been interested in increasing the protectionist "protection" of markets from exports, and the position of the new US administration is standard - a sharp provocation of disputes (in this case, a tariff increase) and then the proposal of negotiations . Judging by the rate of increase in duties, the parties should approach the idea of ​​universal negotiations by the winter of 2018 or in early 2019.