As retaliation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden said on Friday that the US will drastically lower its trade status with Russia, as well as restrict imports of Russian seafood, vodka, and diamonds.
The European Union and the Group of Seven countries are working together to implement the wide trade change, which would result in Russia losing its most favored nation status.
From the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Biden stated that the free world is banding together to oppose Putin.
If Russia loses its most-favored-nation designation, the US and its allies will be able to slap higher taxes on select Russian imports, further isolating the Russian economy.
Biden’s modifications to Russia’s commercial status come amid mounting bipartisan pressure in Washington to withdraw what are formally known as permanent normal trade ties with Russia. In speeches to Congress over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy encouraged the US and its allies to take action against Russia. It comes just days after Biden announced a restriction on Russian oil and gas imports.
The latest efforts are a reminder that the US and its allies will continue to use their financial might to retaliate against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions, which have damaged the Russian economy. The freezing of central bank assets, export restrictions, and sanctions against Russian oligarchs and their families are among the other measures. The Russian ruble has lost 76 percent of its value against the US dollar in the last month as a result of these financial measures, causing catastrophic inflation that could weaken Putin’s ability to conduct a long-term war in Ukraine.
Buyers of Russian goods would pay rates established by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, which hindered commerce during the Great Depression, instead of the current tariff rate. For uranium, rhodium, palladium, silver bullion, and king crabs, this would still be zero. However, import taxes on unwrought aluminum, plywood, semi-finished steel, and diamonds, among other items, would increase dramatically.