No sanctions on Russian Aluminum, but sanctions on Canadian and Mexican Aluminum?

I saw that the Trump administration lifted sanctions on Rusal, the giant Russian aluminum corporation with ties to erstwhile Trump ally Oleg Deripaska. OK, yet I believe the US sanctions on Canadian and Mexican aluminum imports are still in place. Is that correct?

I think the reasoning is that Canada and Mexico effectively provide backdoor access for cheap Chinese aluminum. They import the cheap Chinese stuff then alloy a little of their own into it, and flood the US market with cheap aluminum.

I can’t attest to whether it’s true, but that’s the story they’re telling, I believe.

The US has tariffs on Mexican and Canadian Aluminum and not sanctions.

Do we have tariffs on Russian Aluminum? I also read that the majority of Rusal Aluminum is from China (I will try to find the link); is the US now favoring Russia over our traditional allies?

The Sanctions on Rusal were lifted, meaning it can now be bought in the US. There’s still import tariffs on imported Al, regardless of source.

Chineses aluminum will now be brought to market from Russia!

Soo much better!

We have bilateral trade agreements with Mexico and Canada which means that the default WTO rules don’t apply for tariffs for those country. We do not have a bilateral trade agreement with Russia, but they are in the WTO.

Part of being in the WTO is that your tariffs for member countries that you don’t have a bilateral agreement with have to be the same for all countries that you don’t have trade agreements with.

This means that a tariff against Russia (not a sanction) would be a tariff against all countries in the world we don’t have agreements with.

This is the same state the UK will be with the EU if they don’t sign a bilateral agreement.

That is true but incomplete. The WTO permits unilateral tariffs to be placed on goods whose origin country subsidizes production (or more particularly, the GATT does not strictly apply to goods and services made with the benefit of “domestic support” that is not freely available to any producer). China subsidizes its domestic alumin*um industry and WTO rules would allow the US to place a tariff specifically on Chinese aluminium.

There’s some evidence that the current tariffs (plus the now-eased Russian sanctions) have helped China because they have made non-Chinese-sourced aluminium more expensive. China’s has become more expensive too, of course, but to a lesser degree since the base price is lower. Chinese manufacturers have also benefited from preexisting supply contracts with well-connected US aluminium users.