424 legislators spoke in support of the bill.
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus.
424 legislators spoke in support of the document, eight voted against.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
The suspension of normal trade relations means that Russian and Belarusian imports will lose the most favored nation regime on the American market.
This will allow the administration of President Joe Biden to impose higher duties on Russian and Belarusian goods than for other countries that are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In addition, the initiative requires the U.S. representative at the trade negotiations to seek the freezing of Russia’s participation in the WTO and the suspension of Belarus’ accession to this organization.
The document will remain in force until January 1, 2024. The U.S. president will have the opportunity to restore normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, “if these countries stop their aggressive actions against Ukraine, as well as if certain other conditions are met,” the explanatory note to the bill says.
The bill also provides for the expansion of the provisions of the Magnitsky Global Human Rights Act, which will facilitate the imposition of sanctions against Russian officials for actions that violate human rights.
The intention of the United States and its NATO allies to withdraw from the regime of normal trade relations with Russia was previously announced by American President Joe Biden.
According to him, every NATO member country is going to take steps to deprive Russia of the status of a participant in the most favored nation regime.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, made a statement on Thursday about the ongoing work in the upper house of Congress on a bill to deprive Russia of the permanent status of a country with the most favored nation in trade.
“For several weeks now, members of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House have been working together on the text of a solid and effective bill that would strengthen the painful consequences for Putin’s Russia and which our European allies would accept,” Schumer explained.
“Today,” he continued, “both parties, Democrats and Republicans, remain united in their desire to send a clear message to Putin: he will have to pay a devastating price for the inhuman violence he is inflicting on the Ukrainian people, and today’s vote in the lower house is another way for us to do this.”
Schumer predicted that the bill would receive broad bipartisan support in the Senate.
“And I will work with my colleagues to find ways to hold it in the upper house as soon as possible,” he added.