April 7 (UPI) — The Senate voted 100-0 to revoke Russia’s “Most-Favored Nation” trade status and suspend Russian energy imports, including oil, on Thursday morning.
The consecutive votes solidify actions already taken by the Biden administration to sanction Russia on a variety of fronts because of its invasion of Ukraine that started Feb. 24.
“Formally revoking normal trade relations with Russia is precisely the right thing for the Senate to do, because it will land another huge blow to Putin’s economy,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Wednesday, according to CNBC.
The legislation, which also includes Belarus, puts Russia in the same category as North Korea and Cuba, which face economic barriers by the United States and its allies in fully accessing the global market.
The bill would allow the United States to slap large tariff increases on goods from Russia and Belarus. Some iron and steel products could jump 20% from zero, while plywood could face a 50% penalty, according to Bloomberg.
On March 11, Biden called on Congress to take action on ending Russia’s trade status.
The president said his administration will work to prevent Russia from borrowing from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.