US ‘abuse’ of markets fueling inflation – Putin

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Restrictions on Chinese and Russian goods are “dishonest competition,” the president has said

The West’s import bans and restrictions on numerous Russian and Chinese products will drive up inflation in the US, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned.

The comments came during a press conference the Russian leader gave in the city of Harbin during his two-day trip to China.

Putin was referring to the escalating trade war between Washington and China, and to the sanctions imposed by the US, the EU, and their allies on a wide range of Russian products following the start of the Ukraine conflict.

“They have imposed sanctions against [a variety of] goods. What will this lead to? To inflation in the United States, that’s what it will lead to. Because they will try to produce [the goods] themselves, on their own sites, pay wages to their own workers, using their own expensive metal, using their own expensive energy,” Putin said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

The US has previously placed bans and restrictions on imports of Russian energy resources and metals such as nickel, copper, and aluminum.

Washington also hiked tariffs on Chinese products earlier this week. Duties on electric vehicles (EVs) were quadrupled to over 100%, and new levies were imposed on computer chips, solar cells, and lithium-ion batteries. The White House claimed the new measures are intended to “protect American workers and businesses.” 

Putin suggested that the US imposed restrictions against Chinese car imports because the quality of vehicles from the Asian nation is improving, and that Washington wants to prevent strong competitors from entering the American market.

He described the US approach as “dishonest competition.” As soon as a new country emerges as a manufacturing power and becomes more competitive, it is suppressed in the US and in the EU alike, Putin argued.

Such “abuse” of the market will create inflation, Putin stated, describing the decisions made by the West as “foolish.” 

Inflation in the US and across the EU has hit its highest levels in decades over the past few years, fueled by restrictions against Russia, a leading energy exporter, and the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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