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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Beyond Dumping: More Trade Barriers

AMore than 85 percent of trade barriers against Russian goods are in the form of anti-dumping duties. However, Russia has tried to settle anti-dumping cases by avoiding duties in favor of suspension agreements, which limit Russian exports through quotas.


In other cases, Russia has proposed to end anti-dumping cases by agreeing to minimum export pricing levels. While both approaches constitute barriers to Russian trade, they sometimes allow exports to continue, unlike anti-dumping duties which often price Russian products out of the market. Here are some trade disputes that have been settled by avoiding anti-dumping duties:


Aluminum. In 1993, the United States and the European Union accused Russia of flooding the world market with aluminum at bargain-basement prices. Brussels threw up quotas, while Washington threatened to impose anti-dumping duties, unless Moscow stemmed the tide of cheap imports. Russia responded by prodding other world aluminum producers to sit down at the negotiating table. In 1994, an international agreement was signed to cut aluminum production worldwide. Prices quickly rebounded.


Uranium. The U.S. launched anti-dumping investigations against Russian uranium in 1992, but suspended the case in 1993 in favor of quota arrangements. Russian uranium exports to the EU are governed by a voluntary restraint agreement, which requires exporters to obtain special licenses.


Steel. EU import quotas on Russian steel, thrown up due to a crisis in the European steel industry, were extended this year while negotiators hammered out a new trade agreement. Russia, which has no restrictions on EU steel imports, wanted the EU to remove its quotas entirely. Last April, an agreement was reached in principle, paving the way for Russia to gradually increase its steel exports to the EU until 2001, when free trade will be introduced.


Textiles. Russia's depressed textile industry has sought better access to foreign markets with little success. An agreement setting quotas on Russian textile exports to the EU was set to expire last December, but was unilaterally extended until a new deal could be reached.


Russia says the EU quotas are unfair, particularly since it has opened itself up to EU textile imports, which take up an estimated 30 percent of the Russian market. The new agreement is expected to call for a gradual liberalization of their textile trade, along the lines of the EU-Russian steel accord.