The House on Thursday passed legislation to suspend normal trade relations with both Russia and Belarus, yet another effort from U.S. lawmakers "to inflict economic pain on the Kremlin for its unprovoked and brutal invasion of Ukraine," CNN reports.
The bipartisan-backed bill will now move to the Senate, where it is expected to pass; Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday he would work to push the bill through quickly once it made it past the House.
"We must do all we can to hold Putin accountable for senselessly attacking the Ukrainian people and undermining global stability," House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and the panel's top Republican, Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas), wrote in a joint statement. "The suspension of normal trade relations is an essential part of our effort to restore peace, save lives, and defend democracy."
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The bill sailed through the chamber 424 to 8, The Wall Street Journal notes, and revokes both Russia and Belarus' most-favored-nation trade status, a move President Biden announced last week. The legislation also "requires the U.S. trade representative to urge Russia to be suspended from the World Trade Organization and to stop Belarus's membership application process," a symbolic gesture, the Journal notes, considering the WTO has no process in place for removing a member.
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