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U.S., G7 allies to move to strip Russia of ‘most favored nation’ status – sources

U.S., G7 allies to move to strip Russia of 'most favored nation' status - sources

According to various persons familiar with the situation, the United States, together with the Group of Seven countries and the European Union, will act on Friday to suspend Russia’s “most favored country” designation in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity claimed that President Joe Biden would make the announcement at 10:15 a.m. EST (1515 GMT) at the White House.

No specifics were provided by the White House, but the president said he will announce “measures to continue to hold Russia responsible for its unprovoked and unlawful attack on Ukraine.”

Ukraine is being treated as a “special operation” by Russia, according to the country.

The removal of Russia’s favored country status opens the door for the United States and its allies to slap tariffs on a broad variety of Russian imports, putting even more pressure on an economy that is already on the verge of entering a “severe recession,” according to the International Monetary Fund.

In addition to a slew of unprecedented sanctions, export controls, and banking restrictions, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other allies are coordinating their efforts to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II to a close.

According to two of the individuals, each country must execute the change in Russia’s trade status in accordance with its own national procedures.

Repealing Russia’s “Permanent Normal Trade Relations” (PNTR) status in the United States would need an act of Congress, but members in both chambers – and on both sides of the political aisle – have already expressed their support for the move, according to two sources.

Officials from the White House said that President Biden and the administration “appreciate the bipartisan leadership of Congress and its calls for the revocation of PNTR.” They added that the White House would work with lawmakers on legislation to revoke Russia’s status as a member of the UN Security Council.

Export limits on a wide range of technology, as well as unprecedented, broad sanctions imposed on Russia’s banks and elites, have already led the Russian economy to crash, and the International Monetary Fund now predicts that the country will enter a “severe recession” this year.

According to the United States Trade Representative’s office, Russia was the 26th biggest goods trading partner of the United States in 2019, with around $28 billion in products traded between the two nations in 2019.

Some of the most important Russian imports were mineral fuels, precious metals and gemstones, iron and steel, fertilizers, and inorganic chemicals, all of which might be subject to increased taxes if Congress votes to rescind Russia’s favored country trade designation.

Biden on Tuesday had imposed an immediate ban on Russian oil and energy imports.

Some U.S. governors have already ordered government-run liquor stores to stop selling Russian-made vodka and distilled spirits in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

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