EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written just prior to the March 18 death of Rep. Don Young.
Lawmakers in Alaska applauded a ban of Russian seafood imports instituted by the Biden administration in response to Russia’s invasion of neighboring country Ukraine.
In a March 11 executive order, President Joe Biden prohibited “the importation into the United States of the following products of Russian Federation origin: fish, seafood and preparations thereof.”
The ban is something that had been pushed for by elected officials in Alaska for years. Russia has banned imports of U.S. fish since 2014, after the U.S. sanctioned Russia following its annexation of the previously independent region Crimea.
“I appreciate and strongly support the announcement by President Biden… that the United States will ban the importation of Russian seafood,” U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) said. “I’ve been advocating for such a move by our federal government through legislation and advocacy with top cabinet officials during the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations. Just in the past few weeks, I’ve had detailed discussions with President Biden’s National Security Advisor and U.S. Trade Representative on this important topic.”
“Although this unfair and non-reciprocal seafood trade relationship between the United States and the Russian Federation has been harming our fishermen for far too long, I appreciate that the Biden Administration has recognized the need to rectify it and support the thousands of hard-working fishermen across the country and in Alaska,” Sullivan said.
In a separate statement, issued March 11, Rep. Don Young (R-AK) also applauded the decision.
“I’ve spent weeks calling for a Russian seafood ban. A ban is a crucially important move, which is why I’ve been advocating so strongly for it among my colleagues in Congress,” he said. “Vladimir Putin and his cronies continue (raining) down terror upon Ukrainians. As dictators do, he’s using Russia’s economy as a piggybank to subvert freedom and kill innocent people. This is why we must sanction every sector of his economy to bleed his war machine dry.”
In February, Young introduced legislation, the U.S.-Russian Federation Seafood Reciprocity Act, to ban the import of Russian seafood. In the statement, he said that he plans to continue pushing the legislation as either as a standalone bill or as part of a broader sanctions package.