WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — President Joe Biden will announce that the U.S. will revoke the “most favored nation” trade status for Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday. The move would come in cooperation with the European Union and the Group of Seven countries.
Each country would have to follow its own national processes. Stripping Russia of most-favoured-nation status would allow the US and its allies to impose higher tariffs on some Russian imports, increasing the isolation of the Russian economy in retaliation for the invasion.
The White House said the actions would “continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine.”
NewsNation will livestream Biden’s remarks in the player above.
US tariffs on Russian goods vary, but many key imports are either duty-free or would face a negligible increase in such taxes, Ed Gresser of the Washington, DC-based Progressive Policy Institute said in an online post. These include imports of uranium, rhodium and palladium, king crab and silver bullion.
Most-favoured-nation status requires a country to treat all countries with that status equally. Members of the World Trade Organization share this status, although some countries enjoy special privileges due to their status as developing countries.
Canada became the first major US ally to strip Russia of most-favoured-nation status last week.
Bipartisan pressure has been building in Washington to sever trade ties with Russia, formally known as “permanently normal trade relations.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has consistently urged the US and its allies to take further action against Russia.
The expected move comes just days after Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports, saying the ban would “deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.”
However, the president said “defending liberty will come at a cost,” so Americans can expect higher inflation and gas prices in return.
Prices at the pump rose long before Russia invaded Ukraine and have risen faster since the war began. The US national average for a gallon of gasoline has skyrocketed over the past week, topping $4.31 on Friday, according to the AAA.
Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the convoy of Russian tanks has spread around Kyiv, but the threat it poses has only moved, not abated. Russian airstrikes across the country continued on Friday, killing at least two Ukrainian soldiers and wounding six people.
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