WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), author of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and a senior member of the Senate Finance and Senate Foreign Relations committees, praised the House of Representatives Thursday after bipartisan passage of the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act. The legislation passed the House 424-8. In addition to revoking free trade privileges for Russia, similar to the No Trading with Invaders Act (S. 3725) Senator Cardin introduced earlier this month with Senator Rob Portman, the legislation would reauthorize the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and extend potential sanctions to enablers of human rights violators and corrupt actors. This is the second time the House has approved the reauthorization of Global Magnitsky sanctions this month.
“Accountability is at the heart of Magnitsky sanctions. If oligarchs and authoritarian officials continue to act with impunity, such behavior will become entrenched and put more people at risk. There must be consequences for violations of human rights and blatant corruption. And autocrats like Vladimir Putin cannot operate unless they have agents who allow them to do what they do, which is why we must go after the enablers as well as the abusers,” said Senator Cardin. “I thank the members of the House who recognize, along with President Biden, the important role that sanctions against individuals have on changing behaviors. Such sanctions are linked inextricably with our whole-of-government enforcement policies.
“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to move quickly on sending this bill to President Biden to sign into law. We have had bipartisan support in the Senate for Magnitsky sanctions for the last decade, since I first collaborated with Senator John McCain on this law. It is time we permanently reauthorized Global Magnitsky sanctions.
“In addition to extending and expanding Magnitsky sanctions, this bill would suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, subjecting imports from those countries to significantly higher tariffs. It also directs the U.S. Trade Representative to use the influence of the U.S. at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to condemn the aggression in Ukraine and encourage other WTO members to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus.”