Russia demanded compensation from the U.S. for its worldwide tariffs on foreign aluminum and steel Thursday, becoming the third influential member of the World Trade Organization to do so.
China, the European Union and India have also objected, arguing the tariffs are a “safeguard” measure to protect U.S. domestic products from imports, which require compensation for major exporting countries.
The Trump administration has rejected that argument and says the tariffs are for national security reasons and are therefore allowed under international law.
The U.S. has agreed to negotiate with China and has informed the EU and India it is willing to discuss any other issue, while maintaining their compensation claims are unwarranted.
It is unclear what Moscow’s demand means in practice because it did not challenge the tariffs through a WTO appeals mechanism through which the organization’s 164 members can negotiate solutions to trade disputes.
China is the only country that has pursued that course and India has asked to be present at negotiations with the U.S. on the issue.
U.S. allies Australia, Canada, the EU, Mexico and South Korea have received temporary exemptions from the tariffs, pending negotiations with the U.S.