Politics

U.S. House votes to strip Russia's most favored nation trade status, moving bill to Senate

Key Points
  • The House voted to remove Russia' most favored nation trade status, in a step toward allowing more taxes on Russian-made goods.
  • The bill heads to the Senate, where it is expected to have broad support.
  • The U.S. has tried to punish Russia's economy amid Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
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House has votes to pass bill to end normal trade relations with Russia

The House voted Thursday to strip Russia of its protected trading status, passing the legislation on to the Senate in the first step allowing the U.S. to levy fresh taxes on more of its goods.

The measure has wide support in the Senate as the U.S. and its allies move to do more damage to Russia's economy in response to Moscow's three-week assault on Ukraine. President Joe Biden endorsed the move last week.

Underscoring the broad support for hampering the Russian economy, the House passed the measure in a 424-8 vote. The bill would also strip most favored nation status for Belarus, a close ally of Russia.

If the U.S. removes Russia's "most favored nation" trade status, it will allow the country to slap fresh taxes on a range of Russian goods. The White House has worked in concert with European Union and G-7 allies, many of which have started to take their own steps toward suspending normal trade relations with Russia.

The U.S. has tried to punish the Russian economy through a range of sanctions and bans on imports of products such as oil, liquor and seafood.

The Biden administration has tried to both hamstring Russia's economy and offer defense assistance to Ukraine in its attempts to deter the invasion. Russia's military has assaulted Ukrainian cities for three weeks, and civilian deaths have mounted as President Vladimir Putin's forces try to encircle Ukraine's capital of Kyiv.

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