Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act
This bill suspends normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus. It also permanently authorizes the President to impose visa- and property-blocking sanctions based on violations of human rights, and it revises the President's authority to impose these sanctions.
Specifically, the bill authorizes the President to proclaim increases in the rates of duty applicable to products of Russia or Belarus. This authority terminates on January 1, 2024.
The President may restore normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, subject to congressional disapproval.
The bill directs the U.S. Trade Representative to take certain actions, including to consider steps to suspend Russia's participation in the World Trade Organization and seek to halt the accession process of Belarus.
Additionally, the bill statutorily authorizes broader coverage of current visa- and property-blocking sanctions for human rights violations to cover persons involved in serious human rights abuses. (Current law imposes these sanctions on persons responsible for gross violations of human rights, a higher standard.)
The bill authorizes the President to impose sanctions on any foreign person who (1) is responsible for serious human rights abuse, (2) is a current or former government official who is responsible for or complicit in corruption, (3) is or has been a leader or official of an entity that has engaged in any of these activities, (4) has provided support for any of these activities, or (5) is owned or controlled by a person subject to these sanctions.