Three Countries Trade Retaliation Against U.S.

Japan, Russia and Turkey have warned the United States about potential retaliation for its tariffs on steel and aluminum, the World Trade Organization said on Tuesday, bringing the total U.S. tariff bill to around $3.5 billion annually.

The three countries detailed their compensation claims in notifications to the world trade body, following similar moves by the European Union, India and China. Each showed how much the disputed U.S. tariffs would add to the cost of steel and aluminum exports to the United States, based on 2017 trade.

Russia said the U.S. tariffs, which President Donald Trump imposed in March, would add duties of $538 million to its annual steel and aluminum exports. Japan put the sum at $440 million. Turkey added a further $267 million.

China has put its claims at $612 billion, the 28-nation European Union at $1.6 billion, and India $165 million.

They all reject the U.S. view that the import tariffs — 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum — are justified by U.S. national security concerns and are therefore exempt from the World Trade Organization rules.

They say the U.S. tariffs have all the hallmarks of "safeguards," a trade restriction that can be legitimately used to protect a struggling industry from an unforeseen surge in imports.

A country using safeguards must compensate other WTO members who stand to lose out from the restriction on their trade, normally by re-balancing their trading relationship with a net increase in imports of other goods.