Neal and Brady Introduce Bill to Further Punish Putin

Mar 17, 2022
Press Release
Legislation suspends normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement after introducing legislation to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus:

“President Zelenskyy’s powerful remarks to Congress yesterday only strengthened our resolve to further isolate and weaken Putin. This legislation builds on last week’s energy import ban to inflict even greater economic pain on the Russian regime and its enablers. We must do all we can to hold Putin accountable for senselessly attacking the Ukrainian people and undermining global stability. The suspension of normal trade relations is an essential part of our effort to restore peace, save lives, and defend democracy.”

This legislation includes additional provisions to expand the United States’ trade tools to stop Russia’s unacceptable and unjust war on Ukraine and to hold Belarus accountable for its involvement. Specifically, the bill:

  • Provides the President with time-limited authority to increase tariffs on products of Russia and Belarus, until January 1, 2024;
  • Requires the U.S. Trade Representative to use the voice and influence of the United States to seek suspension of Russia’s participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to halt Belarus’ WTO accession and accession-related work; and
  • Provides the President with the authority to restore normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus if these countries have ceased their acts of aggression against Ukraine and other certain conditions are met. Congress has the authority to overrule such a decision through a congressional disapproval process.

A summary of the Ways and Means provisions in the legislation is available HERE.

Full text of the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act is available HERE