WH clamp down trade relations with Belarus, Russia

WH clamp down trade relations with Belarus, Russia

The White House relayed to Congress concerns over a bipartisan deal that was reached to clamp down on Russia’s trade relations; citing in particular provision that would suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus; according to multiple sources in both parties.

Now the House is moving ahead tomorrow on a different anti-Russia bill; that would instead review Russia’s status in the World Trade Organization;  while reauthorizing the Magnitsky sanctions law and banning Russian energy imports. That bill will be approved by the House tomorrow; sending it to the Senate.

Republicans are angry because they believe the White House undercut a bipartisan deal reached by the four top tax writers in Congress.

“I thought revoking PNTR was a very strong sanction; and I was very disappointed that was dropped from the bill,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, the top GOP taxwriter, referring to “permanent normal trade relations.” 

Also read: Russia warns of $300 oil, threatens to cut off European gas if West bans energy imports

Meanwhile,

Democrats plan to move on Russia bill in US House tomorrow after vote count was uncertain Tuesday

The US House will now move on a bill to clamp down on Russia after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier that the bill would come to the floor tonight.

The reason for the change: They had originally tried to approve it under “suspension of the rules,” which requires two-third support to pass.

But a Democratic leadership aide; says that Republicans would not commit to giving them enough votes to get the bill through under suspension.

So they now plan to move the bill under a rule tomorrow; so it can pass with a simple majority.

Following US President Joe Biden’s announcement today that his administration is banning Russian energy imports;

Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues that the House would vote on a bill that follows similar steps.

The bill would ban imports of Russian energy;l take steps to scrutinize Russia’s role in the World Trade Organization and reauthorize the Magnitsky Act to strengthen sanctions on Russia.

What is the Magnitsky Act? The act, signed into law in December 2012; blocks entry into the US and freezes the assets of certain Russian government officials and businessmen; accused of human rights violations.

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