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Russia introduces additional taxes on US goods: ministry

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Russia has introduced additional import tariffs of 25-40 percent for a range of US goods, including construction and road machinery, oil, gas and metals industry equipment and optic fiber, the Russian Economic Development Ministry said Friday.

The volume of new Russian tariffs at the current stage will amount to 87.6 million US dollars a year, the ministry said in a statement.

It said that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had signed a government order setting the tariffs in retaliation to US tariffs of 25 percent on steel and of 10 percent on aluminum starting on March 23.

Russia notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the end of May about the possible setting of duties amounting to 537.6 million dollars a year for US goods over the annual imports that are worth 3.16 billion dollars.

Russia, like other WTO members, including China, India, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Norway, has already initiated a dispute with the United States at the WTO, sending a request on June 29 for formal consultations.

If no mutually acceptable ways of resolving the dispute are found during the consultations, Russia will ask the WTO to establish an arbitration group and refer the dispute to it, the ministry statement said. The new Russian tariffs will become effective 30 days after the official publication of the government order, which was published Friday on the website of the Russian government.

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