Russia is no longer part of the Generalized System of Preferences, a U.S. trade program that reduces tariffs on the importation of thousands of products for developing countries, the White House announced late last week.
Last year, the value of goods that Russia imported was approximately $300 million. With this change, firms in Russia must pay higher rates for goods that they import.
The move is not unexpected.
In May, U.S. President Barack Obama told Congress that Russia would be removed from the list as it was sufficiently advanced in economic development and was no longer an appropriate choice for the program.
Caitlyn Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House, told media personnel that this move is not related to the country’s recent actions in the Ukraine, although it was “particularly appropriate to take this step now,” given the current political climate.