Background

The U.S. and others have announced additional import and export restrictions against Russia, and President Biden warned that while these are “the latest steps we’re taking, they’re not the last steps we’re going to take.”

Biden said he plans to sign into law legislation that would revoke permanent normal trade relations status for goods imported from Russia, thus allowing a significant increase in tariffs on such goods. G-7 members Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom are expected to follow suit, and in a joint statement they welcomed “the ongoing preparation of a statement by a broad coalition of WTO members … announcing their revocation of Russia’s most-favored-nation status” as well.

In addition, the president issued March 11 an executive order that prohibits:

- U.S. imports of seafood, alcoholic beverages, and non-industrial diamonds from Russia;

- U.S. exports, reexports, sales, and supply (direct or indirect) of luxury items – such as high end-watches, vehicles, apparel, alcohol, and jewelry – to any person located in Russia; and

- new investment in any sector of the Russian economy as may be determined by the Treasury Department (new investment in the Russian energy sector is already prohibited).

The EO allows for the expansion of the import and export bans to additional products at the determination of the Treasury and Commerce departments, respectively.

Separately, Treasury is expected to release new guidance reinforcing that all U.S. persons must comply with sanctions regulations regardless of whether a transaction is denominated in traditional currency or virtual currency.

For more information on these and other restrictions on trade with Russia, please contact Kristine Pirnia at (202) 730-4964 or via email.

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