US President Joe Biden said on Friday the United States would ban imports of seafood, vodka and diamonds from the country as part of an effort to increase economic pressure on Russia for invading Ukraine. .
In remarks from the White House, Biden also called for revoking Russia’s “most favored nation” status, known as permanent normal trade relations in the United States. This move, which has been coordinated with G7 and EU allies, will require an act of Congress.
The U.S. ban on luxury goods exports to Russia, which Biden referenced in his speech, will also include items like tobacco, clothing, jewelry, cars and antiques, he said. an administration official told CNN.
The idea behind this, the official explains, is to continue to harm Russian oligarchs and the country’s wealthiest by depriving them of their material comforts, while the United States continues to try to pressure relatives of Vladimir Putin. It also aims to remove the means for these oligarchs to shelter their money, as they are already increasingly closed to traditional financial avenues, the official said.
So how much alcohol and seafood does the United States import from Russia? The United States imported 48,867 tons of seafood from Russia in 2021, worth about $1.2 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Crab accounted for the bulk of those imports, with the United States buying more than $900 million worth of frozen snow and red king crab last year.
The United States does not sell seafood directly to Russia, as the country banned US seafood and fish exports in 2014.
CNN always tracks overall alcohol numbers, but according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, imports of Russian vodka into the United States accounted for just 1.3% of total vodka imports in 2021.
The total comes to $18.5 million in 2021, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States said.