Tariffs on Russian birch could rise 50%

WASHINGTON – Congress is moving toward passing legislation that would end normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus.

The House of Representatives voted 424-8 on legislation to raise tariffs from Russia and Belarus. According to the Decorative Hardwood Assn., this means tariffs on Russian birch could rise 40% to 50%.

Russia supplies roughly 10% of the hardwood plywood American uses, with the vast majority (97%) being birch plywood products, according to wood flow resource blog TimberCheck. In 2021, Russia was the third-largest source of U.S. hardwood plywood imports at $334 million.

According to the Hill, the Senate is expected to act quickly. President Biden is then expected to sign the bill into law, with tariffs going into effect immediately.

Both parties have been pushing for stricter sanctions and penalties against Russia, often more harshly than Biden, per the Hill.

To restore normalcy, the White House would need to certify that Russia and Belarus end the invasion and occupation of Ukraine and that both countries pose no threat to NATO.

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