‘Most preferred country’: Biden announces US action to revoke trade status for Russia

Biden said the United States, along with the G7 and the European Union, would call for the withdrawal of “preferred country” status. Russia, Referred to as permanent normal trade relations in the United States. Status means the two countries have agreed to trade under the best possible terms, which include lower tariffs, lower restrictions on trade and higher imports, Biden said.

The move requires congressional approval and the law is expected to be introduced following Pitton’s announcement.

“The repeal of the PNTR for Russia will make it harder for Russia to do business with the United States and unite with other countries that make up half of the world economy, another blow to the already badly affected Russian economy.

The president said, “Many issues divide us in Washington, but standing up for democracy in Ukraine and pushing Russia’s aggression should not be one of those issues. The free world is coming together to confront Putin.”

The President thanked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for being a “strong advocate” on the issue and for keeping the law in the House of Representatives “until I have lined up all our key allies and kept us fully united.”

Biden announced that the United States would ban goods from many signature sectors of the Russian economy, including seafood, vodka and non-industrial diamonds. The White House estimates that Russia’s export earnings will not exceed $ 1 billion.

The President will sign an executive order ending the export of luxury goods to Russia, including luxury goods, tobacco, clothing, jewelry, cars and antiques.

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Biden spent 49 minutes on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky on Friday, detailing the new measures he was to announce regarding US trade with Russia, two officials familiar with the call told CNN.

Although most of the calls between the two leaders after Russia’s invasion ranged from 30 to 40 minutes, it was a bit long because Biden pointed out how the United States was suspending normal trade relations. Kremlin.

Zhelensky tweeted that he had “assessed the situation on the battlefield, told Russia about Russia’s crimes against civilians” and that they agreed to “support Ukraine’s security and increase sanctions against Russia.”

A White House official told CNN that while the United States continues to pressurize those close to Putin, the administration’s goal is to continue to hurt Russian oligarchs and the country’s rich by depriving them of their livelihoods. It also aims to eliminate the ways in which these oligarchs seek refuge in their money because they are already increasingly shunned from traditional financial means, the official said.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States imported 48,867 metric tons of seafood from Russia in 2021, valued at about $ 1.2 billion. The United States bought $ 900 million worth of frozen ice and red king crabs last year, and crab accounted for the bulk of those imports. Since the United States banned the export of seafood and fish in 2014, the United States does not sell any seafood directly to Russia.

According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Russian vodka imports to the United States accounted for only 1.3% of total vodka imports by 2021. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the total will be $ 18.5 million by 2021.

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The president also announced that G7 leaders were trying to deny Russia the ability to borrow from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

“We are going to continue to oppress Putin,” Biden said, adding that “Putin must pay the price” for his unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

“The G7 is putting increasing pressure on corrupt Russian billionaires – we are adding new names to the list of targeting oligarchy groups and their families, increasing the integration between the G7 countries and seizing their false profits. They support Putin, they steal our money from the Russian people.” They are trying to hide in countries, “said Biden.

CNN reports that bilateral talks in the Senate on Thursday are taking the form of more drastic action on Russia’s trade position – after the White House effectively passed the House. Bill banning Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports Within the United States.

An earlier version of the law contained a provision suspending permanent trade relations between Russia and Belarus. But the White House was concerned about that part of the bill, which was eventually repealed. The bill banning Russia’s energy imports, which was passed in the House on Wednesday night, called for a review of Russia’s position in the World Trade Organization.

CNN reported that Senate finance chairman Ron Wheaton, a Democrat from Oregon, was in talks with top tax writers in Congress and the Biden administration as pressure mounted to add harsh language when the Senate bill was added to the House bill. Until – next week soon.

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“The Russians – I believe Russia’s inhumane behavior does not justify it for the benefit of the international community,” Wyden told CNN.

Senator Mike Groppo, Republican in the Idaho Republican and Republican rankings in the Finance Committee, said he would not support the House bill without strong language on its trade status – and made it clear that there would be an effort to amend it.

“The question is PNTR, which is non-existent. Then they had some other things in the WTO. It would be useless if we did not do PNTR,” Grobo said the previous day. “So, I’m not going to support it, because it does not have the important things you need for the right trading response.”

The story was updated on Friday with more details.

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