The 1930s tariffs were designed to impose high levies on imports of manufactured goods and agricultural products, but low rates on imports of raw materials – a design that would limit costs for American factories, Mr. Gresser written in a blog post.
The U.S. tariff on palladium, for example, which is used in catalytic converters, would remain at 0% after the change, according to Gresser’s research. Tariffs on other important exports from Russia, such as king crab, uranium and urea, which is used in fertilizers, would also remain at 0%.
Customs duties would be a little higher for other products, such as raw aluminum alloy, birch-faced plywood, balls and some steel products.
Energy imports from Russia – which accounted for about 60% of what the United States imported from the country last year – would face slightly higher tariffs. But Mr. Biden has already announced this week that the United States will halt all Russian oil, gas and coal shipments, a far more drastic step.
Mr Gresser wrote that revoking Russia’s preferential trade status would impose some sanctions, “but in most cases they are not very significant”.
“It may nonetheless be an appropriate symbolic and moral gesture, particularly if many WTO members join in,” he wrote. “But as a policy measure designed specifically to impose an economic cost, the energy import ban is one that has real-world practical impact.”
Russia or another country, such as China, could challenge the decision to strip Russia of its trading status by filing a complaint against the United States, the European Union or other countries at the World Trade Organization. But the global trade body offers broad exceptions for measures taken to protect national security, and the United States and Europe could cite that rationale in their defense.
The report was provided by Catherine Edmondson, Katie Rogers, Alan Rappeport and Liz Alderman.