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Ukraine: Who voted against suspending normal trade relations with Russia
The Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act is the latest in a string of sanctions against Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.
Here are the lawmakers who voted against suspending normal trade relations with Russia, Belarus
Ella Lee USA TODAY
The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and its ally Belarus until 2024 in response to the nation's continued attack on Ukraine.
The Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, but eight Republicans in the House voted against the bill that would allow President Joe Biden to enact higher tariffs on more of Russia's products.
Here's what you need to know about the bill and the elected officials whoopposed it.Ukraine Aid:President Biden uses presidential power to give additional $800 million to Ukraine
Who voted against the bill?
The bill passed with a 424-8 vote. These eight Republicans voted against the bill:
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.
Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.
Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.
Rep. Chip Roy, Texas
Several of the members took to social media to explain their votes.
Massie said in a tweet the bill would give the president "broad authority to sanction virtually anyone, anywhere in the world, whether they are connected to Russia or not."
Biggs made a similar case, explaining in a video shared to Twitter that he voted against the bill because it purportedly would allow the president to place sanctions on "almost anybody in the world" whether they have ties to Russia or not.
"He gets to define what a human rights abuse is and he gets to go after anybody he thinks might be committing some kind of human rights abuse," Biggs said, claiming the bill could be used to place sanctions against "pro-life advocates."
Gaetz shared Biggs' video, saying he voted with the Arizona representative "for these reasons and others," and Roy shared Massie's tweet, raising similar points.
Greene told USA TODAY in an email that she voted against the bill because it "hands way too much over to Biden" and would lead to potentially fatal consequences.
"Russia is a top grain exporter and a top fertilizer exporter," she said via a spokesperson. "If we stop them from being able to trade, then we are looking at real food shortages and famine. We’re talking about loss of life."
Boebert said via a spokesperson that the bill had "bad language that could lead to sanctioning ‘human rights abusers’ who simply hold traditional views of life and family and restrict access to abortion."
USA TODAY reached out to the other lawmakers for comment.
Bill to end normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus
The Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act is the latest in a string of sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
The bill paves the way for Biden to introduce higher tariffs on Russian goods such as aluminum, plywood and steel by suspending Russia's participation in the World Trade Organization and revoking the country's "most favored nation" status.
The "most favored nation" principle was conceived after World War II to ensure trading rights weren't dependent on a country's political or economic clout, according to the World Trade Organization. Without the designation, nations trading with Russia won't have to treat it equally and can impose higher tariffs on its goods.Gallery:Empty strollers in Ukraine commemorate children killed in Russian attacks
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The only other countries without the "most favored nation" status are North Korea and Cuba, according to Investopedia.
Though Belarus isn't directly engaged in conflict with Ukraine, it acted as a staging ground on Ukraine's northwest border for Russian troops ahead of the invasion. The State Department in February urged Americans to refrain from travel to Belarus due to its involvement in the conflict.
The bill directs the U.S. Trade Representative to "use the voice and influence of the United States" to block Belarus from becoming a full member of the World Trade Organization and to persuade other countries to revoke trade privileges for Russia and Belarus.War in Ukraine:As Russia moves into western Ukraine, families say goodbye and some volunteer to fight
According to the legislation, Biden would be able to restore normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus if they cease the war in Ukraine and meet other conditions. Congress could override that decision with a disapproval resolution.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas. On the House floor, Neal said the U.S.must do "everything in our power to hold Russia accountable for the atrocities it is committing hourly" in Ukraine. Brady highlighted the bill's bipartisan support and said "American dollars will no longer fund Russia's war machine."
Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz among eight Republicans to vote against suspension of trade relations
Far-right congresswoman claims ‘real Americans’ care more about gas prices and inflation and accused legislators of preparing to send American troops to war
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a measure to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, a move that strips the countries of key trade designations and gives President Joe Biden’s administration authority to increase tariffs against them.
The vote on 17 March follows Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to a joint session of Congress and urgent appeals calling on world leaders to halt business with Russia amid its ongoing assault against Ukraine.
The Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act passed by a vote of 424-8.
The eight votes against the measure came from Republican members Andy Biggs, Dan Bishop, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Glenn Grothman, Thomas Massie and Chip Roy.
Earlier on Thursday, far-right congresswoman Greene said “all we’re hearing is potential war with Russia over Ukraine.”
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“Ukraine is not a Nato member ally and President Biden had told them we would only be standing with our Nato member allies,” she said. “All we’re hearing on the news is Ukraine.”
“Real Americans care about” the price of gas, inflation and crime, she said, accusing Washington officials of caring “more about sending our sons and daughters to a potential war where they do not belong.” The president has repeatedly pledged that the US will not send American troops to Ukraine.
Congresswoman Greene also criticised legislators for mulling additional Covid-19-related aid, which is set to expire next month, to address a disease she falsely claimed “doesn’t exist.”
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Following President Zelensky’s address on Wednesday, she issued a video statement amplifying baseless conspiracy theories mirroring Russian propaganda about the invasion and Ukraine’s president.
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Republican Rep Thomas Massie claimed the latest bill gives the president “broad authority to sanction virtually anyone, anywhere in the world, whether they are connected to Russia or not.”
In joint remarks introducing the bill, Democratic US Rep Richard Neal and Republican US Rep Kevin Brady said President Zelensky’s remarks “only strengthened our resolve to further isolate and weaken” Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We must do all we can to hold Putin accountable for senselessly attacking the Ukrainian people and undermining global stability,” they said. “The suspension of normal trade relations is an essential part of our effort to restore peace, save lives and defend democracy.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in remarks from the floor on Thursday that he would work to advance the bill on the upper chamber.
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15 hrs ago
People such as MTG want licence rather than freedom. They have no interest in the opinion of others. They have no real interest in democracy other than how it will bring them to power and keep them there. Democracy is hard and very vulnerable. Those who truly understand that the strength of democracy is in the willingness to compromise with those whose ideals directly offend your own and in that collective willingness to compromise and accommodate each participant guarrantees the freedoms of the other. The far right and the far left have a vested interest in undermining these ideals because they also know inherently that the majority would never support their radicalism and propensity to crush and exclude people. MTG, Trump etc play on people's fear rather than their love of fellow man. They appeal to the simplistic and the banality of evil, and in doing so seed the foundations of freedom's demise. Their path always leads to destruction. True representative rules based democracy account for only 19% of the world's political systems yet contribute to around 65% of the worlds productivity of wealth. We need to stand up to these totalitarian mobsters and we need to stand together.
House votes to suspend trade relations with Russia after invasion of Ukraine
The U.S. has already banned the imports of Russian oil, seafood and alcohol.
House votes to suspend trade relations with Russia after invasion of Ukraine
BY KEVIN FREKING AND
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 17, 2022 8:01 PM UTC
Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.
The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, preparing for President Joe Biden to enact higher tariffs on more products and further weaken the Russian economy in response to its military assault on Ukraine.
Business leaders on ensuring equitable access to capital
The U.S. has already taken steps to shut off the importation of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, seafood, alcohol and diamonds. The vote on Thursday sets the stage for making it more expensive to import certain steel, aluminum and plywood items, among other goods.
The House vote was 424-8. The Senate is expected to take up the measure soon for final passage.
The broad trade action, which would revoke “most favored nation” status for Russia, is being taken in coordination with the European Union and Group of Seven countries. The House vote came one day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded with Congress and U.S. allies to do more to deter Russia.
“I’m asking to make sure that the Russians do not receive a single penny that they use to destroy people in Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said in a video address to Congress.
In a joint statement introducing the trade bill, Reps. Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said Zelenskyy’s remarks “only strengthened our resolve to further isolate and weaken" Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We must do all we can to hold Putin accountable for senselessly attacking the Ukrainian people and undermining global stability,” the two lawmakers said. “The suspension of normal trade relations is an essential part of our effort to restore peace, save lives and defend democracy.”
World Trade Organization rules generally require each member to provide its lowest tariff rates to all WTO members. Russia joined the WTO in 2012 and Congress overwhelmingly approved legislation that year providing the president with the authority to extend normal trade relations status with Russia. But countries can enact exceptions to protect security interests.
Still, the revocation would carry mostly symbolic weight. The earlier sanctions on imports of Russian oil, gas and coal already cut off about 60% of U.S. imports from the country, but certain sectors of the economy could feel an effect.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said, “To date, both parties, Democrat and Republican, remain united in sending Putin a clear message: His inhumane violence against the Ukrainian people will come at a crippling price."
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