The threats of the European Community to introduce the increased customs duties on several kinds of the American goods are getting more and more real. The EU leadership sent the list of American goods, on which the tariffs were planned to be increased, to all EU members.
After the list is approved by all members of the European Union, it will be then sent to the WTO, not later than May 20. Pursuant to the rules of the World trade Organization, the EU’s counter-measures (in return to the increased tariffs on steel imports in the USA) may come into force on June 18.
The contents of the list is not known yet, but as it seems, it will enumerate very familiar trademarks: Harley-Davidson bikes, Tropicana juices (Tropicana is Pepsi’s branch company). The textile production may also be found on the list, as well as steel production, and clothes. The volume of these deliveries from the USA to the European countries exceeded two billion dollars a year.
However, the trade sanctions of the European Union may not come into effect, but it will happen only if the USA agrees to pay the compensation to the EU in the sum of $2.5 billion. This is not likely to happen, since the American officials said before that the increased steel tariffs did not contradict to the WTO’s rules, since they were to protect the strategic branch of the American industry. Furthermore, there have already been several threats said from Washington that the USA could raise tariffs on other European goods, not only steel.
Meanwhile, it seems that Russia and the USA managed to avoid the trade war. Russian Premier Kasyanov said on March 22 that American exporters could resume the deliveries of poultry to Russia soon. Kasyanov said that the issue could be solved within 20 or 30 days. It then became known that America was ready to compromise as far as the issue of the export of the Russian steel is concerned. YTRO.Ru news site informed that there had already been an agreement achieve, according to which Russia would be able to deliver slabs (half-finished metal product) in the volume of the year 2000, with a possibility to increase the delivery volumes within three years. However, the export of slabs suffered very little from the increased steel tariffs.
American representative for trade talks, Robert B. Zoellick was talking about it in the beginning of March, when the restricting duties were introduced. But this half-finished product is of low quality, it is rather cheap, whereas the more expensive production still suffers from the restrictive duties.
It seems that the ban of the poultry import from America is not that connected with the restrictions on the export of the Russian steel, as it was supposed in the very beginning of the conflict. One may not say that such a measure affected Americans this way or another. The expansion of deliveries of slabs is not a sufficient compensation for the losses of the Russian metallurgists. Furthermore, the new anti-dumping issues are very likely to come into the picture soon. This time America is not happy about the Russian silicon manufacturers.
So, the trade wars that were provoked with the decisions of the American administration will go on between different countries, and no one knows, when they are going to end.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov