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Congress Votes to Limit Economic Ties with Russia

Congress passed two bills on Thursday designed to limit trade with Russia, according to The Hill.

Ending normal trade relations: “Senators voted 100-0 on two bills. The first, H.R. 7108, ends permanent normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus. The bill also reauthorizes and amends Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act sanctions that target human rights violations and corruption.”

Banning oil imports: The second bill, H.R. 6968, codified the Biden administration’s ban on oil imports and other energy products from Russia.

New U.S. sanctions: On April 6, the U.S. announced additional sanctions on Russia, including increased sanctions on Russia’s largest private bank, state-owned enterprises and Russian government officials and family members. President Biden also announced a ban on all new investments in or exports to the Russian Federation by the U.S. government or U.S. citizens.

More actions: A range of U.S. allies also announced additional actions designed to target Russia.

  • The European Union banned importing coal from Russia, put a full transaction ban on key Russian banks, banned Russian boats from accessing EU ports and placed a targeted export ban on specific technologies that Russia lacks, including quantum computers, advanced semiconductors and transportation equipment.
  • The U.K. banned all outward investment into Russia, froze assets on Russia’s largest bank and committed to ending all imports of Russian coal and oil by the end of 2022.
  • Canada imposed sanctions on 18 individuals closely associated with the Russian and Belarusian regimes.
  • Taiwan banned exports of 57 additional categories of high-tech products to Russia, including integrated circuit parts, memory chips and telecommunications equipment to prevent these items from being used for military purposes.

Our take: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons tweeted support for congressional passage of the Russia legislation on Thursday, saying: “Manufacturers welcome Senate passage of the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act. Last month, @ShopFloorNAM’s Board of Directors denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called for the termination of Russia’s #PNTR status.”  

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