President Biden will announce on Friday that the United States will join the G7 and the European Union in calling for the suspension of normal trade relations with Russia, according to a person familiar with the announcement, a change that would raise tariffs for many Russian products.
Each country will implement the suspension based on its own national processes, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about it. Mr. Biden will work with Congress on legislation that would suspend normal trade relations between the United States and Russia, the person said.
The move would add to a vast array of sanctions the United States and its allies have imposed to penalize Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Efforts to review or revoke normal trade relations have already been stirring in Congress. Earlier this week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers proposed legislation that would ban imports of Russian energy into the United States and suspend normal trade relations with Russia. On Wednesday night, the House approved a bill that would ban Russian oil and gas imports and review Moscow’s membership in the World Trade Organization, but would not revoke Russia’s preferred trade status.
Under the rules of the World Trade Organization, all members grant each other “most favored nation” trading status, which the United States also calls “permanent normal trade relations,” in which goods can flow at lower tariff rates between countries. If the United States suspends that trading status — as it has done for some countries in the past — the tariffs charged on Russian products would revert to rates set by the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.
But trade experts have said the effect of such a measure would likely be small, because of the limited trade between the countries. Russia was the 20th largest supplier of goods for the United States in 2019, sending mainly oil and gas, metals and chemicals.
The Biden administration had already announced this week that it would ban imports of Russian oil, gas and coal.