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Biden Signs Bans Russian Energy Imports, Revokes Trade Relations

President Joe Biden signed two bills into law Friday: one that revokes normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus and another that bans imports of energy products, including mineral fuels, oils and waxes.

"Revoking normal trade relations, which requires congressional action in the United States, would end Russia's status as a 'most favored nation,' a classification within the World Trade Organization that exempts a country from tariffs," NBC News reported.

"Only two other countries—North Korea and Cuba—do not have normal trade relations with the U.S. and are subjected to these rates," per Supply Chain Dive. The withdrawal of normal trade relations has immediately raised tariffs on certain imports from Russia.

The legislation is a formal step to sever trade relations with Russia and one of its closest allies, Belarus, and to "allow import controls on key products like platinum, chemicals, iron and steel," according to CNBC.

Goods imported from Russia and Belarus will now be subject to higher duty rates in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), according to Wiley. Biden also has the authority to further increase the rates for Russia and Belarus, following Congressional consultation at least five days prior.

Steelmakers are expected to see heavy impacts from trade tensions because Russia is a major supplier of ferroalloys to the U.S., which are used to make steel, per Supply Chain Dive. However, other exports from Russia to the U.S. are not expected to be affected as much by the change in rates, including fertilizers, platinum and palladium.

Biden does have the authority to return normal tariff treatment and trade of energy products with Russia subject to certain conditions, per Beaumont Enterprise.

Bryan Mason, editorial associate
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Thursday, 01 December 2022

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