Jul 25, 2023 | Press Releases

Nunn, Waters Introduce Legislation to Reduce Reliance on Russia for Agricultural Commodities

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Zach Nunn (IA-03) and House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (CA-43) today introduced the No Russian Agriculture Act to decrease U.S. reliance on Russian agricultural commodities. 

“Food security is national security,” Rep. Nunn said. “As we’ve seen during Russia’s recent war on Ukraine, Putin is unafraid to weaponize agricultural exports as a war tactic. The world cannot be reliant on Russia or other adversaries in any way but especially not to get the food we need. This legislation reduces our reliance on Russian farmers and puts the focus back on supporting America’s farmers.”

Over the last 17 months, Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine has posed tremendous harm to Ukraine’s infrastructure and its citizens. As part of the war, Russia has endeavored to strangle Ukraine’s economy by restricting the country’s exports, including those of its agricultural sector, which is critical to maintaining the world’s food supply.

This legislation addresses this serious issue by requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to direct the U.S. Executive Directors (EDs) of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to use the voice, vote, and influence of the U.S. to encourage IFIs to support projects that decrease the reliance that countries have on Russian agricultural commodities, ensure the resilience of global grain supplies, and stimulate private investment in such projects. 

“Russia’s unprovoked, brutal war is a crime against Ukraine and also threatens people around the globe. By intentionally disrupting the world’s food supply, Putin is knowingly causing pain and threatening nations with food scarcity and hunger,” Ranking Member Waters said. “That’s why this bipartisan bill, introduced in partnership with Representative Zach Nunn, is significant, helping to reduce global dependence on Russia’s agricultural commodities and increasing grain resiliency against its shocks.”

The introduction of the “No Russian Agriculture Act” follows Russia’s latest move to withdraw from the “Black Sea Grain Initiative” – an initiative which allowed Ukraine to ship essential agricultural products to other nations – as well as its recent attacks on grain depots at Ukrainian ports. In doing so, Russia chose to endanger market stability, provoke spikes in food prices, and potentially propel millions into hunger.

This bill will be considered by the House Financial Services Committee at a markup on July 26, 2023. If passed out of Committee, this bill will then await a vote on the House floor.

Text of the bill can be found here.