U.S. Imports from Russia in January Nearly 5-Times as Great as Exports

By Terence P. Jeffrey | March 18, 2022 | 1:29pm EDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021. (Photo by Peter Klaunzer-Pool/Keystone via Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021. (Photo by Peter Klaunzer-Pool/Keystone via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - The value of the products that the United States imported from Russia in January—before U.S sanctions were imposed on Russia after its February 24 invasion of Ukraine--was nearly five times as great as the value of the products that the United States exported to Russia during that month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In January, according to the official Census Bureau data, the United States imported $1,959,400,000 in products from Russia.

That same month, the United States exported only $396,800,000 in products to Russia.

The $1,959,400,000 in imports from Russia was 4.93 times as great as the $396,800,000 in exports to Russia.

As a result of the disparity between imports and exports, the United States ran a merchandise trade deficit of $1,562,500,000 with Russia in January.

The U.S. has run annual merchandise trade deficits with Russia in each of the last 28 years, according to data published by the Census Bureau. In 2021, the U.S. trade deficit with Russia was $23,306,800,000. In the month of January 2021, the U.S. trade deficit with Russia was $1,575,000,000—very close to the $1,562,500,000 trade deficit the United States ran with Russia in this January.

In fact, in January 2021 the value of U.S. imports from Russia ($1,965,300,000) was 5.03 times as great as the value of U.S. exports to Russia ($1,965,300,000).

In 2021, according to the Census Bureau, the top four products the United States imported from Russia (when measured by dollar value) were fuel oil ($10,265,587,048); crude oil ($4,714,801,618); other precious metals ($2,594,065,110); and petroleum products, other ($2,528,835,662).

On Feb. 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine, President Joe Biden announced that he was imposing sanctions on Russia, including on Russian financial institutions and “Russian elites.” However, these sanctions did not include Russia’s oil industry.

Then, on March 8, President Biden announced that he was banning the importation of Russian petroleum and petroleum products to the United States.

“As a result [of the Russian invasion of Ukraine],” Biden said in a written message to Congress, “I have prohibited the following: (i) the importation into the United States of the following products of Russian Federation origin:  crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products; (ii) new investment in the energy sector in the Russian Federation by a United States person, wherever located; and (iii) any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a United States person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by this section if performed by a United States person or within the United States.”

The U.S.-Russia export and import numbers for January 2022 are the most recent that the Census Bureau has published.

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