WorldThe United States officially revokes the trade status of...

The United States officially revokes the trade status of Russia and Belarus

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The Congress of United States It unanimously approved Thursday to end normal trade relations with Moscow and Belarus, in addition to regulating the ban on importing Russian oil, paving the way for the White House to put new pressure on President Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Russia. Ukraine.

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The Senate of United States and the House of Representatives approved the revocation of the commercial status of Russia and Belarus, in a rare demonstration of strong bipartisan cohesion in recent times.

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The measure, which repeals the principle of commercial reciprocity of the “most favored nation clause”, would allow Western countries to impose sharp increases in tariffs on Russian products.

The congressional bill also requires the United States to request Russia’s suspension from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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As far as the United States is concerned, only two other countries are currently excluded from this reciprocity principle: Cuba and North Korea.

In coordination with his European allies, Democratic President Joe Biden announced the initiative in a speech last month in which he argued that Russia must “pay the price” for bloodshed in Ukraine, where the Russians have denied accusations of committing crimes. atrocities against civilians.

Putin it must be held absolutely accountable for the abhorrent and despicable war crimes it is committing against Ukraine – the images we have seen of that country… are just plain evil,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Standing Normal Trade Relations (PNTR), as the United States calls it, is a key WTO principle known as most-favored-nation status. It requires that countries mutually guarantee equal tariff and regulatory treatment.

The latest trade sanctions – which also apply to Russia’s ally Belarus – culminate several rounds of measures aimed primarily at severing Moscow’s economic and financial ties with the rest of the world.

They have included banning Russian oil imports, seizing the assets of Putin-linked billionaires and freezing the country’s reserves.

Last year, the United States imported from Russia just under 30 billion dollars in products, including 17.5 billion in oil, on which Washington has just imposed a total embargo.

Also this Thursday, Congress voted in favor of a ban on importing Russian energy, following in the footsteps of the president Biden which announced in early March an embargo on these materials by decree.

On Wednesday United States it adopted measures to block foreign investment in Russia and in state-owned companies and applied new sanctions to banks and high-ranking officials in Moscow.

All of this comes on top of several salvos of Western measures taken in recent weeks, aimed at gradually severing the country governed by Vladimir Putin’s economic and financial ties with the rest of the world.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC News television that global sanctions had plunged the Russian economy into a “deep recession.”

“And what we are seeing is a probable contraction of the Russian economy of around 15%,” he stressed.

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Source: Elcomercio

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