Murkowski Welcomes Closure of Loophole in Russia Seafood Ban


Anchorage, Alaska – Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today released the following statement after President Joe Biden signed a new Executive Order, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released new guidance and determinations, clarifying and affirming the U.S. prohibition on Russian-origin seafood imports regardless of where processing occurs. 

“In the midst of a truly difficult time for Alaska’s fishermen, these are stabilizing steps that will help end Russia’s evasion of sanctions and China’s dumping of overharvested Russian fish onto American markets. That, in turn, will help seafood prices recover, restore balance and basic fairness to markets, and cut off a key source of funding for Putin’s catastrophic war in Ukraine, all at the same time,” Murkowski said. “I want to commend the relentless and dogged advocacy of Senator Dan Sullivan and other Alaskans who have led on this charge to protect Alaska’s fishing industry, and thank the Biden administration for coming around and seeing the wisdom in addressing Russia’s malign behavior.”

Russia has maintained a one-sided ban on U.S. seafood imports since 2014. Following its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia began to flood the international market with underpriced seafood to help fund its bloody war against an innocent nation. In response, President Biden issued Executive Order 14068 in March 2022, blocking the import of Russia seafood. Russia, however, has largely bypassed those sanctions by reprocessing its seafood harvest in China, making it a product of China for the purposes of U.S. country-of-origin labeling. China then exports those stocks to the United States, undermining the sanctions regime, domestic markets, and the hardworking Alaskan fishermen who sustainably harvest seafood. The Executive Order signed today amends EO 14068 to clarify that Russian-origin seafood import are banned even when that seafood is processed in another country. 

The Executive Order can be read here. More information about Treasury’s guidance and determinations is available here.