The U.S. put punishing tariffs on Russian plywood after the Ukraine invasion. Did it actually cut imports?

By Andrew W. Lehren
NBC News
February 23, 2023
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

When Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States imposed sanctions and tariffs designed to slow the Russian economy — including steeper tariffs on lumber from the nation’s vast and lucrative timber industry. But a study  by the environmental group EarthSight found that while tariffs helped cut U.S. imports of plywood from Russia in half from 2021 to 2022, outpacing an overall decline in plywood imports from all nations of 18 percent, Russia remains the second-largest foreign supplier of plywood to the U.S. The U.S. directly imported at least $1.2 billion worth from Russia in 2022. Plywood remains one of the largest sectors of shipments of goods other than gas and oil coming directly from Russia and its ally Belarus into the U.S., accounting for roughly half of all Russian consumer goods landing on American shores from November 2022 to January, according to an analysis of Russian export and U.S. import records by EarthSight.

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