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Beyer Votes To Suspend Permanent Normal Trade Relations With Russia And Belarus

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) voted last night to impose new economic sanctions on Russia and Belarus in response to the illegal invasion of Ukraine. The Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act would suspend normal trade relations with both countries, allowing President Biden to raise tariffs on Russian and Belarusian goods. The House’s vote follows President Biden’s announcement that NATO Allies, the G7 nations and the European Union will take similar steps to isolate Russia’s economy in response to Putin’s aggression.

“This week, President Zelensky told us that Ukraine needs more help from Congress and the United States. My colleagues and I are working to answer that call, authorizing additional weapons shipments, including air defense systems, more humanitarian aid, and passing new legislation to make sure Russia faces severe economic consequences. Suspending normal trade relations will build on the provisions the House passed last week to hold Putin accountable and show strong American support for Ukraine. I will continue working with my colleagues to do all we can to stand with Ukraine and oppose Russia’s cruel, unprovoked attack,” said Beyer.

This legislation includes additional provisions to expand the United States’ trade tools to stop Russia’s unacceptable and unjust war on Ukraine and to hold Belarus accountable for its involvement. Specifically, the bill:

  • Provides the President with time-limited authority to increase tariffs on products of Russia and Belarus, until January 1, 2024;
  • Requires the U.S. Trade Representative to use the voice and influence of the United States to seek suspension of Russia’s participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to halt Belarus’ WTO accession and accession-related work; and
  • Provides the President with the authority to restore normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus if these countries have ceased their acts of aggression against Ukraine and other certain conditions are met. Congress has the authority to overrule such a decision through a congressional disapproval process.

The Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act builds on previous leadership by the U.S. House to support Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion, including votes to impose harsh economic sanctions and to send billions to Ukraine in defensive and humanitarian assistance.