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11 Mar, 2022 15:47

US and its allies revoke Russia’s ‘most favored nation’ trade status

The move allows them to impose higher tariffs on some imports from the country
US and its allies revoke Russia’s ‘most favored nation’ trade status

US President Joe Biden said on Friday that the United States, the European Union, and the Group of Seven (G7) nations had decided to revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status over its Ukraine offensive. He announced that Washington would also be introducing a ban on imports of alcohol, diamonds, and seafood from the country.

According to Biden, the move will hold Russian President Vladimir Putin “even more accountable for his aggression against Ukraine.”

“Each of our nations will take steps to deny ‘most favored nation’ status to Russia. A most favored nation status designation means two countries have agreed to trade with each other under the best possible terms: low tariffs, few barriers to trade, and the highest possible imports allowed,” the US leader said.

“In the United States, we call this permanent normal trade relations, PNTR, but it’s the same thing. Revoking PNTR for Russia is going to make it harder for Russia to do business with the United States, and doing it in unison with other nations that make up half of the global economy will be another crushing blow to the Russian economy that’s already suffering very badly from our sanctions.” 

Biden said further restrictions on Russia would follow, and that Congress would swiftly be implementing new legislation. The European Union and the G7 nations would be taking the same steps, he said, and Canada revoked Russia’s ‘most favored nation’ status last week. Meanwhile, the G7 has agreed to deprive Russia of access to financing through international organizations, including the IMF, the White House announced.

Russia was America’s 26th-largest trading partner in 2019, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative. In 2021, Russian exports to the United States amounted to almost $30 billion, the majority of which comprised energy products.

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