Which Products Could Be Affected?

President Joe Biden on Friday called for the suspension of regular trade relations between Russia and the U.S.

Biden announced that the U.S. would take further steps by “banning imports of goods from several signature sectors of the Russian economy including seafood, vodka and diamonds.”

“This will deny Russia more than $1 billion in export revenues and ensure U.S. citizens are not underwriting [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war,” according to the Biden administration

The administration clarified that it also reserves the right to impose “additional import bans as appropriate.” The move will probably continue to drive up prices and the Biden administration prioritizes supporting the Ukrainian people as they fight Russia’s invasion. 

He then announced a ban on exports, specifically high-end items, to Russia in order to specifically target Russian oligarchs’ purchasing. This includes high-end watches, luxury vehicles, high-end apparel, high-end alcohol and jewelry.

“The U.S. export value of the products covered by today’s luxury goods restrictions is nearly $550 million per year,” the administration claims.

Many U.S. businesses, states and U.S.-based individuals were already beginning to boycott Russian products and removing them from shelves. The goal is for the U.S. and its allies to “stand with the people of Ukraine” by ramping “up the economic pressures on Putin and to further isolate Russia on the global stage.”

Russian-made vodka imports were down 79% since 2011 and accounted for 1.3% of total vodka imports in 2021. 

Biden also said that he called Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier in the day to make him aware of the steps the West is taking to help hold Putin responsible.

“The free world is coming together to fight Putin,” Biden said.

Biden made clear that NATO allies and G7 nations would jointly announce steps “to squeeze Putin” and hold him “even more accountable.”

These nations will “take steps to deny most favored nation status to Russia,” he said. Also referred to as permanent normal trade relations (PNTR), this means that countries party to NATO or the G7 will no longer be on good trade relations with Russia.

It also means that the U.S. and its allies will impose higher tariffs on Russian imports, further isolating the Russian economy which Biden called “junk status.”

The president also announced measures from the G7 that would “seek to deny Russia the ability to borrow from leading multinational institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.”

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