US to boost tariffs against Russian steel, aluminium to 35%

US President Joe Biden issued a proclamation on Monday, June 27 that the United States will increase tariffs to 35% on imports of steel, aluminium and other products from Russia and Belarus, effective July 27

This action expands sanctions initiated on March 8 with an executive order by Biden to bar imports of Russian crude oil, petroleum, liquefied natural gas, coal and coal products.

The imposition of higher tariffs on categories of imports not already prohibited “is warranted and consistent with the foreign policy interests of the United States,” Biden stated.

The proclamation was issued as part of a joint effort by the Group of Seven (G7) nations, meeting at a summit in Krün, Germany, to impose further sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

“This will send an important message to Russia that it will have to pay for the costs of its war,” US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Monday.

The president was granted tariff-raising authority in the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act passed by Congress on April 8.

That law removed favored nation status for Russia and Belarus in the US harmonized tariff schedule, thereby increasing tariffs on their imports to the US to 20% on finished steel, 18.5% for some unwrought aluminium, 11% for high purity aluminium and 10.5% for some categories of value-add aluminium products.

While the US has yet to identify the products that potentially face 35% tariffs, Tai indicated the product list will be chosen from the following categories: steel and aluminium; minerals, ores and metals; chemicals; arms and ammunition; wood and paper products; aircraft and parts; and automotive parts.