Russian President Vladimir Putin is ravaging Ukraine while America is playing catch up. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a new plan though it’s questionable how much impact it will have.
Pelosi said she will have a House vote on revoking Russia’s “most favored nation” trade designation, The Hill reported. The California Democrat said in a statement Friday that legislation was already prepared for a vote next week.
“When the House returns next week, we will take up legislation to formalize this revocation, and it is our hope that it will receive a strong, bipartisan vote,” Pelosi said. “Putin’s premeditated, unprovoked war is an attack on the Ukrainian people and an attack on democracy — and the House remains steadfast in our commitment to partnering with President Biden and our allies to level swift, severe punishment and stand with the Ukrainian people.”
Earlier that day, President Joe Biden had addressed the nation with increased action on Russia as tensions heated up between the two nations. Biden said that the U.S. and other Group of Seven nations were on board with the measure to revoke “Permanent Normal Trade Relations.”
The “most favored nation” status amounts to a trade agreement between nations to keep them fair and competitive within the World Trade Organization, according to the Associated Press. This is in addition to other imports the already banned from Russia like crude oil, alcohol, diamonds, and seafood.
However, removing this designation will have little real impact beyond its symbolism. The U.S. imports only 1% of its vodka from Russia and only 2% of its seafood, with the total impact of the new sanctions only at $1 billion, though the White House sees it as an important move.
“Putin is an aggressor,” Biden said. “And Putin must pay the price. He cannot pursue a war that threatens the very foundations … of international peace and stability,” the president claimed.
Stopping Putin is an essential mission, but it’s unclear whether anything Biden or Pelosi are doing will have any impact. Still, these moves are at least a step in the right direction.