US tariffs on steel and aluminum from the EU, Canada and Mexico are in reality economic sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his annual Q&A session.
“Apparently, our partners thought they would never be affected by such a counterproductive policy related to restrictions and sanctions. However, we see now that it is happening.”
The introduction of protective steel and aluminum tariffs, not only for Europe but also for Canada and Mexico, “is in principle the same as sanctions, though put in other terms,” the Russian President said.
“In fact, this is so, but why? Did they annex the Crimea?”, asked the Russian president.
According to Putin, tariffs imposed by Washington are determined by the country’s national interests as seen by its current leadership. “This brings us back to the necessity of developing common rules of conduct in the area of both security and economic cooperation,” he said.
In March, Washington imposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum products coming from the EU, Mexico and Canada. The trade penalties, 25 percent on imported steel and ten percent on imported aluminum, took effect on June 1.
The EU vowed swift counter-balancing measures to the tariffs imposed. Canadian and Mexican authorities also said they would take retaliatory steps.