August 15, 2022

President Biden will announce Friday that the US, the European Union and members of the G-7 group of countries will begin removing Russia from their list of “most favored nations” for trade as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine enters its 16th day, according to multiple reports.

Biden is scheduled to make the announcement at 10:15 a.m. from the White House as part of an effort to further isolate Russia’s economy.

Removal of most favored nation status – formally described as “permanent normal trade relations” by the US – would allow the West to impose higher tariffs on Russian imports.

Americans would likely see increases on goods such as uranium, rhodium, palladium, king crabs, and silver bullion, as well as some kinds of ammunition and certain diamonds.

Instead of the current tariff rate, buyers of Russian goods would pay rates established under the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, which disrupted trade during the Great Depression.

As with other sanctions against Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, the US is following the lead of one of its allies — in this case Canada, who revoked most favored nation status from Russia and Belarus March 2. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pressed the US to take similar action in remarks to Congress over the weekend.

Biden is scheduled to make the announcement at 10:15 a.m. from the White House.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Biden called the ban on Russian energy imports “another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.”
Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
A picture shows a destroyed shoe factory following an airstrike in Dnipro
A destroyed shoe factory is seen following an airstrike in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro.
EMRE CAYLAK/AFP via Getty Images

Most favored nation status requires a country to treat all countries with that status the same. Members of the World Trade Organization share that status, though some countries have special privileges due to their status as developing economies.

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Cuba and North Korea do not have most favored nation status.

Friday’s announcement will follow a series of economic sanctions the administration has imposed over the last three weeks – targeting banks, oligarchs, business dealings and Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

On Tuesday, Biden announced a ban on Russian energy imports following massive bipartisan pressure from Congress, calling the move “another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.” 


Get the latest updates in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with The Post’s live coverage.


The president warned that while the move would “inflict further pain on Putin,” it would also lead to higher prices for gas in the US. 

The energy sanctions cut off roughly 60 percent of America’s total imports from Russia. 

In order to make up the difference, the administration reportedly has approached Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia about purchasing oil from those autocratic regimes.

With Post wires