President Joe Biden will announce Friday that the US, along with the G7 and European Union, will call for revoking “most favored nation” status for Russia, referred to as permanent normal trade relations in the US, sources familiar with the move tell CNN.
The move requires an act of Congress.
Each country is expected to implement this measure based on its own national processes. The sources made note of congressional efforts to revoke Russia’s permanent normal trade relations.
Biden will make the announcement Friday and Congress then is expected to introduce legislation.
CNN reported earlier Thursday that bipartisan talks in the Senate had been taking shape to take more aggressive action on Russia’s trade status — after the White House effectively watered down the House-passed bill banning importing Russian oil, natural gas and coal into the US.
The earlier version of the legislation had included a provision that would suspend permanent normal trade relations for Russia and Belarus. But the White House expressed concerns over that part of the bill, and ultimately it was excised. The bill banning Russian energy imports that passed the House Wednesday night instead simply called for a review of Russia’s status in the World Trade Organization.
Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, a Democrat of Oregon, told CNN that he was engaging in talks with the top tax writers in Congress and the Biden administration about the matter, as pressure grew to include tougher language in the House bill when the Senate takes it up — as soon as next week.
“I believe the Russians — the inhumane behavior of Russia does not justify it to get the fruits of the international community,” Wyden told CNN.
Sen. Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican and the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, said he probably wouldn’t support the House bill without stronger language on its trade status — and made clear there would be an effort to amend it.
“The question is PNTR, which is absent. And then they had some other stuff on the WTO in there, which is kind of hollow if we don’t do PNTR,” Crapo said earlier in the day. “So, I probably would not support it because it doesn’t have the key things that you need for a proper trade response.”