Rep. Rice Introduces the Defund Putin Act

Legislation Would Revoke Russia’s Most-Favored-Nation Trade Status 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC) introduced the Defund Putin Act to remove Russia’s most-favored-nation status, which shields Russia from being subject to U.S. tariffs. This bill will increase tariff rates for goods from Russia, further increasing the economic consequences for Vladimir Putin and his associates. 

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is shocking and inexcusable,” says Rep. Rice. “The response of the USA has been weak. On one hand, Biden is too weak to call it an invasion and to use all the tools at his disposal. On the other, Trump calls the ruthless maniac, Putin ‘brilliant’ and cheers him on. We can do better. 

In order to completely isolate Russia from the world economy, I have introduced the Defund Putin Act. This bill removes Russia as a most-favored-nation for purposes of trade. This will allow the United States to use tariffs and other trade sanctions. It further bans import on Russian oil. 

I am a member of the Ways and Means Committee, which sets American Trade policy. I have requested and Chairman Neal is scheduling a meeting to explore other means of inflicting financial pain on Russia for its ruthless violence against the Ukrainian people.”

Background: 

Pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974, the most-favored-nation status is granted to all members of the World Trade Organization and allows the country to receive the lowest tariffs, fewest trade barriers, and highest import quotas. Revoking this status allows the United States to raise tariffs on Russian goods crossing our borders.

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