President Joe Biden on Friday is expected to call for an end to normal trade relations with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, clearing the way for increased tariffs on Russian imports, a senior administration official familiar with the matter told NBC News.
Other Group of Seven nations and the European Union also will move to revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” status, multiple people familiar with the situation told Reuters.
The move marks the latest escalation of a push by the United States and its allies to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the largest war in Europe since World War II.
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation.”
Removing Russia’s status of “Permanent Normal Trade Relations” will require an act of Congress, said one senior administration official. But lawmakers in both houses of Congress have expressed support for such a move.
Unprecedented, sweeping sanctions slapped on Russia’s banks and elites, along with export controls on a raft of technologies, have already caused the Russian economy to crater, and the International Monetary Fund is now predicting that it will plunge into a “deep recession” this year.
The White House said Biden would announce “actions to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine” at the White House at 10:15 a.m. ET Friday.
That announcement will center on revoking Russia’s trade privileges, one of the sources said.
In 2019, Russia was the 26th largest goods trading partner of the United States, with some $28 billion exchanged between the two countries, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office.
Top imports from Russia include oil and gas products — which the U.S. has already banned — as well as precious metal and stone, iron and steel, fertilizers, and inorganic chemicals, all goods that could face higher tariffs once Congress acts to revoke Russia’s favored nation trade status.