Sullivan Applauds Administration Ban on Russian Seafood Imports

Senator Has Been Pressing for Reciprocal Seafood Trade Relationship Since 2015

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) today applauded an announcement by President Joe Biden that his administration will prohibit the importation of Russian seafood into the United States, in addition to banning goods from severalother signature sectors of Russia’s economy. Sullivan has been working to ban the hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Russian seafood that the U.S. imports every year since he came to the Senate in 2015, including introducing the U.S-Russian Federation Seafood Reciprocity Act with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on February 9.

President Biden also announced his intention to revoke Russia’s “most-favored nation” status as a member of the World Trade Organization. Sen. Sullivan called for this sanction on Saturday, March 5, after hearing from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a congressional Zoom meeting.

“I appreciate and strongly support the announcement by President Biden today that the United States will ban the importation of Russian seafood,” said Sen. Sullivan. “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—including just yesterday. 

“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.”


  • In 2014, Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine. In response, the United States and its allies imposed a suite of sanctions, not including Russian seafood imports. Russia then enacted retaliatory sanctions, including against U.S. seafood imports, creating the imbalanced seafood trade relationship that exists today between the two countries.
  • In August of 2018, Sen. Sullivan testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission on the economic impact of the Russian embargo on U.S. seafood.
  • On February 9, Sens. Sullivan and Murkowski introduced the U.S-Russian Federation Seafood Reciprocity Act
  • On February 15, Sullivan included a provision in the Never Yielding Europe’s Territory (NYET) Act that directs the federal government to prohibit Russian seafood imports to the U.S.
  • On February 17, Sullivan attempted to pass the U.S-Russian Federation Seafood Reciprocity Act by unanimous consent, but the bill was blocked by Senate Democrats. 
  • In the weeks since, Sullivan has been working with his colleagues on minor changes to the legislation and expects it could pass the Senate as soon as next week.

# # #