President Joe Biden on Friday is set to call on Congress to end normal trade relations between the United States and Russia, opening the door for the administration to impose new tariffs in response to the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia is not one of the United States’ top trading partners, but the goods and services exported by both countries are still substantial. In 2019, Russia exported $22.3 billion in goods to the United States, according to the U.S. Trade Representative, including fuels, metals and inorganic chemicals.
The United States is set to announce the move in tandem with the G-7 and the European Union, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the still-unannounced plans. The effort marks a further escalation in the global strategy to impose maximum economic pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Each country must implement the punishment under its own national laws, which in the United States requires Congress to act. Democrats and Republicans had planned to revoke the favorable trade status this week as part of a measure that imposed other penalties on Russia, until the Biden administration asked for additional time to coordinate with allies.
The announcement Friday is set to arrive a day after Congress acted to approve $14 billion in aid to Ukraine, seeking to provide humanitarian assistance and bolster the country against further Russian aggression. It comes the same week that Biden announced a plan to bar oil imports from Russia, one of the country’s most lucrative exports.