US House backs removal of ‘most favored’ trade status for Russia, Belarus By Reuters

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© . Ukraine’s largest market Barabashovo is set on fire after shelling during the Russian attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 17, 2022. REUTERS/Vitalii Hnidyi

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By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON () -The US House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly backed legislation to lift the “most favored nation” trade status for Russia and Belarus in connection with the invasion of Ukraine, paving the way freed up for higher import tariffs from the countries. The Democrat-controlled House voted 424-8 to remove the status from Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR), the latest attempt by Congress to put economic pressure on Moscow. To become law, the measure must also pass the Senate. Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said it would pass through the Senate soon after House approval. The move to revoke Russia’s status at the World Trade Organization is being coordinated with similar efforts by other G7 democracies. It would automatically raise US tariffs to non-WTO tariffs on imports from Russia and authorize US President Joe Biden to declare higher tariffs on products from both Russia and Belarus. But after a ban on US imports of Russian energy products last week, the impact of the tariff status change could be largely symbolic, said Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “Looking at the data, we just don’t import a lot of stuff from Russia,” Bown said. According to World Bank data, the largest non-petroleum imports from Russia in 2020 were palladium, crude “pork” iron, rhodium, crude aluminum alloys, plywood and fertilizers. Palladium and rhodium are used in automotive catalytic converters. The House vote came a day after Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy made an emotional address to Congress – via video link – asking for more support. Many lawmakers wore Ukrainian flag pins while voting. The measure would also expand the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, easing the imposition of sanctions on Russian officials for human rights violations. All eight “no” votes came from Republicans, some of whom said the Magnitsky provision gave the president too much power. “If we don’t stand up for human rights because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to stand up for human rights,” Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, pushing for support for the bill. Republican Representative Victoria Spartan, the only Ukrainian-born member of Congress, said it was important to include Russia’s close ally, Belarus. “We cannot create a loophole where Putin will use Belarus to funnel money through it,” she said. The move also instructs U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to use “the voice and influence of the United States at the WTO” to encourage other countries to suspend trade concessions to Russia and block Belarus’ accession to the trade organization. fuses. Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data on this website is not necessarily real-time or accurate. All CFDs (Stocks, Indices, Futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and therefore prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price meaning prices are indicative and not suitable for trading purposes . Therefore, Fusion Media does not bear any responsibility for any trading losses that you may incur as a result of using this data. Fusion Media or anyone associated with Fusion Media accepts no liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any information, including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals on this website. Be fully informed about the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest forms of investment possible.

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