Putin's Strong-Arm Auto Policies Create Anger Abroad

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
putin s strong arm auto policies create anger abroad

An alleged environmental measure will land Russia in the court of the World Trade Organization, a club Russia had joined only in August. Importers have to pay a “recycling fee” of around 5 percent of a car’s sticker price, local makers do not. “Russia’s trading partners say the new levy is a purely protectionist play under the guise of environmental ‘recycling’,” Reuters writes. “The European Union Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht, has threatened to invoke the disputes procedure of the World Trade Organization.”

President Vladimir Putin in late 2010 started what TTAC called an “invest here, or else” policy. It slapped prohibitive tariffs on imported cars and gave preferential treatment to companies that build in Russia. (On both stories, Putin received congratulatory comments from TTAC’s UAW cheering section. Putin’s American fans would love to see his policies get adopted in America.)

The policy nearly blocked Russia’s entry into the WTO. Russia was admitted after, says Reuters, “Moscow signed up to a series of tariff cuts, lowering import duties on cars from 30 percent to 25 percent from September 2012, on the way to a final rate of 15 percent by 2016.”

The surcharge, which is levied on imported cars only, is “blatantly discriminatory,” says Fredrik Erixon, a director at the European Centre for International Political Economy. He predicts that “Russia is going to find itself being sued by a lot of different countries on a lot of issues.”

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  • Tosh Tosh on Feb 13, 2013

    Is he sitting on a squat toilet? "Who does No.2 work for?!"

  • Skor Skor on Feb 13, 2013

    Putin looking out for the best interests of Russia? The bastard! Burn him on a pyre of dogeared copies of Atlas Shrugged!

  • Junebug Junebug on Feb 13, 2013

    I wouldn't f.ck with him - any of ya'll ever read some of the sh!t he's done? The man is certainly no candy-ass politician.

  • Amca Amca on Feb 13, 2013

    He's just dreamy . . . such a hot Dad. We need to start a Gay Guys Who Are Hot For Putin page. Li'l Vlad would have a stroke.