Two US lawmakers are looking to ban the importation of all seafood from Russia into the United States.
Alaska Republican Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski introduced the US-Russian Federation Seafood Reciprocity Act this week.
The two senators said the legislation is in response to Russia’s own prohibition on the importation of US and other western seafood products since 2014.
Russia enacted its embargo in response to a suite of sanctions the United States and its allies imposed following Russia’s 2014 invasion of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine.
“Most Americans would be astounded to learn that Russia has unfettered access to sell its seafood in the United States at the same time America’s fishermen and seafood processors have zero access to the Russian market,” said Sullivan. “This is just wrong and hurts our fishermen.”
In 2021, the United States imported 48,867 metric tons of seafood from Russia, worth $1.2 billion (€1 billion). Of that, crab accounted for a significant portion, with frozen snow crab and frozen red king crab accounting for over $900 million (€796 million).
Murkowski noted the legislation has been brought up as Congress works on a sanctions package with the threat of Russia invading Ukraine.