Senate votes to strip Russia of trade status, house follows by Bloomberg

©Bloomberg. A worker operates a binding machine while pieces of steel bar are ready for shipment on Friday, November 26, 2021 at the Oskol electrometallurgical plant, operated by Metalloinvest Holding Co., in Stary Oskol, Russia. Due to this week’s pandemic-driven betting losses, the impact of a new coronavirus strain may not be as severe as initially feared. (Bloomberg) — The United States Senate voted unanimously to strip Russia and Belarus from normal trade relationship status, sending the White House-backed legislation to the House for a vote expected later Thursday. The trade law, passed by a rare 100-0 vote, would put Russia and Belarus in the same category as pariah states like North Korea and Cuba, adding to the growing list of economic barriers faced by the US and its allies. created to punish. The government of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the attack on Ukraine. The bill allows the US to impose large tariff increases on goods from Russia and Belarus. Under the legislation, tariffs on iron and some steel products could be increased from 0% to 20%. Plywood can get a 50% tax and some reaction engines can have import taxes of 35%, according to a Democratic aide to the Senate. “No country whose military commits war crimes deserves free trade status with the United States,” Senate Leader Chuck Schumer said on the floor Thursday morning. President Joe Biden last month banned imports of signature Russian products, including oil, gas, vodka, seafood and industrial diamonds. The commerce bill was delayed about a week in the Senate because of a delay by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul over wording an extension of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which was enshrined in the bill. Other quarrels between senators also delayed the bill. Lawmakers finally reached a deal after weeks of negotiations. That provision would empower the Biden administration to impose further sanctions on Russian officials for human rights violations. Paul wanted the legislation, named after a Russian lawyer who died in custody after investigating tax fraud, to be more specific about the types of violations that would lead to sanctions. He agreed to stop blocking the bill after reaching a compromise with Senate leaders. The House passed the trade measure by an overwhelming majority earlier in March, but Senate revisions mean the legislation must return to the House for another vote. All House lawmakers, except eight Republicans, voted to sever trade ties with Russia and Belarus, which has housed a number of Russian troops who have invaded Ukraine. By mid-March, a quarter of the 164 members of the World Trade Organization — who together account for 58% of global gross domestic product — were on the brink of no longer treating Russia as a so-called most favored nation under WTO rules. In addition to the US, the list includes the 27 members of the European Union, Japan, the UK, Canada, South Korea and Australia. ©2022 Bloomberg LP

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