April 07,2022

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Wyden Praises Agreement on Legislation To End Normal Trade Relations With Russia

Bipartisan Package Repeals Normal Trade Relations With Russia and Belarus, Renews Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and Bans Imports of Russian Oil

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today praised a new bipartisan agreement to end normal trade relations with Russia, following weeks of delay by Republican senators. 

“With every passing day, there are horrific new stories about Russia’s brutality in Ukraine. Civilians slaughtered with their hands tied behind their backs. Corpses bearing clear signs of torture. Bodies burned to hide evidence of rape. Vladimir Putin is waging war against the people of Ukraine,” Wyden said. “This package is about bringing every tool of economic pressure to bear on Vladimir Putin and his oligarch cronies. Putin’s Russia does not deserve to be a part of the economic order that has existed since the end of World War II. Ending normal trade relations hammers home that Putin has made Russia into a pariah state.”

The package mirrors legislation passed by the House of Representatives, with a handful of technical changes to legislative text. 

  • Bans imports of Russian energy products, such as oil, gas and coal, consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order on Russian energy products.
  • Suspends Russia’s Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status, which denies Russia access to most favored nation (MFN) tariff status, and ensures Belarus also receives less favorable tariff treatment.
  • Allows the President to further increase tariffs on goods imported from Russia or Belarus. 
  • Provides the President with authority to return normal tariff treatment for Russia and Belarus, as well as resume trade in Russian energy products, subject to certain conditions and congressional disapproval.
  • Calls for WTO member countries to take action on suspending trade benefits Russia and Belarus and halt Belarus’ accession to the WTO.
  • Includes a non-Finance Committee provision renewing the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to sanction individuals involved in human rights abuses and corruption.