US, G7 allies to strip Russia of ‘most favored nation’ status – sources

US President Joe Biden holds a virtual meeting with business leaders and state governors to discuss supply chain issues, particularly semiconductor chips, on the White House campus in Washington , U.S. March 9, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) – The United States, the Group of Seven countries and the European Union will take steps on Friday to revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” status following its invasion of Ukraine, said several people familiar with the situation. Reuters.

President Joe Biden will announce the plans at the White House at 10:15 a.m. EST (1515 GMT), one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The White House said Biden would announce “actions to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unwarranted war against Ukraine,” but gave no details.

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Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

Stripping Russia of its favored nation status paves the way for the United States and its allies to impose tariffs on a wide range of Russian products, which would further increase the pressure on an economy that is already heading towards a ” deep recession.

The coordinated measures by Washington, London and other allies add to an unprecedented series of sanctions, export controls and banking restrictions aimed at pressuring Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the most great war in Europe since World War II.

Each country must implement the change in Russia’s trade status based on its own national processes, two of the interviewees said.

In the United States, removing Russia’s “permanent normal trade relations” (PNTR) status will require an act of Congress, but lawmakers in both houses — and on both sides of the political aisle — have already signaled their support. , said two officials.

“President Biden and the administration appreciate the bipartisan leadership of Congress and its calls for revoking the PNTR,” one of the officials said, adding that the White House would work with lawmakers on legislation to revoke the status of Russia.

Unprecedented and sweeping sanctions imposed on Russian banks and elites, as well as export controls on a range of technologies, have already caused a crater of the Russian economy, and the International Monetary Fund is now predicting that it will plunge into a “deep recession” this year.

In 2019, Russia was the United States’ 26th largest merchandise trading partner, with some $28 billion traded between the two countries, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Top imports from Russia included mineral fuels, precious metals and stones, iron and steel, fertilizers and inorganic chemicals, all goods that could face higher tariffs once Congress acted to revoke Russia’s favored nation trade status.

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

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

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Reporting by Steve Holland and Andrea Shalal in Washington; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Michael Perry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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