On April 15, 2022, Venable partner Ashley Craig was quoted in Law360 on the U.S. revocation of Russia's preferential trade status following the invasion of Ukraine.
According to the article, Congress's passage of a bill severing normal trade relations with Russia ends Washington's legal obligation to trade with Moscow on the most favorable terms possible, triggering higher tariffs on Russian goods. But with sanctions already drastically curtailing Russian imports, a more concerning consequence for the United States could be possible retaliation in the form of a Russian demand to be treated the same as other World Trade Organization (WTO) members, in line with the organization's bedrock principle that members don't openly discriminate against each other.
Article I of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade states that WTO members must offer each other their best possible trade terms, what is known within the WTO as "most favored nation" status, but is referred to in the U.S. as "permanent normal trade relations."
"To get to the point of granting PNTR, we're doing so in the context of reaching across to a trade partner," said Craig. "Pulling it back signifies a systemic alteration the likes of which we haven't seen."
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