International

Biden expected to call for nixing normal trade relations with Russia

Associated Press/Patrick Semansky

On Friday, President Biden is expected to call for an end to Russia’s “Permanent Normal Trade Relations” (PNTR) status, allowing for higher tariffs on goods coming from Russia, several news outlets reported.

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News, the first to report the news, that Biden will make the announcement along with European Union leaders and the Group of Seven nations. 

One senior administration official told Reuters that Congress will need to remove the PNTR status from Russia, but the wire service noted that such a move already appears to have bipartisan support. 

Earlier this month, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced legislation that would revoke Russia’s PNTR status. Russian goods are subject to lower tariffs in the U.S. compared to countries that do not have that status and sell goods to the U.S.

The House on Wednesday stopped short of a bipartisan agreement that would have suspended normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, but passed a bill including trade provisions that would limit Russian access to the World Trade Organization (WTO), including by pushing the U.S. Trade Representative to encourage other WTO member countries to suspend both Russia’s participation in the organization and trade within the country.

When asked about the legislation before it was passed by the House, Psaki told reporters “in terms of the WTO specifics” that “it’s not a unilateral step the United States could take or the President could take, but we will continue those conversations as well.”

The U.S., along with much of the international community, has sought to further isolate Russia economically. Earlier this week, President Biden also announced a ban on imports of Russian oil, natural gas and coal. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment. 

Tags Biden Jen Psaki Joe Biden Katherine Tai Ron Wyden Russia Trade relations Ukraine

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