Luetkemeyer: We Must End our Dependence on Tyrants and Dictators for Critical Resources
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Ranking Member on the Consumer Protection & Financial Institutions Subcommittee released the following statement regarding the urgent need for the Biden Administration to fully isolate Russia from all international markets following its unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
“The recent sanctions against the Central Bank of the Russian Federation have proven effective in damaging Russia’s economy so far. The Ruble continues to plummet and as a result, Russia had to double its interest rates to 20 percent. However, these sanctions have one very notable and consequential exception: oil and gas production. Why? Because this month alone, the U.S. is scheduled to import 12 million barrels of oil from Russia. Further, our European allies, particularly Germany, are extremely dependent on Russia for energy, and that dependence is continuing to fund Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. When President Biden assumed office, he immediately forfeited our place as an energy exporter and forced the American people to pay a tyrant billions of dollars to help heat our homes, drive our cars, and sustain our economy.
“If the western world won’t use all available tools against Russia due to its energy production, how can the American People expect a meaningful response to the Chinese Communist Party threatening the independence of Taiwan, the world’s largest chip producer and U.S. ally? We depend on China for everything from electronics to medication – a lesson we’ve learned the hard way since the beginning of the pandemic. In 2020 alone the U.S. imported $435 billion worth of Chinese goods. The CCP views that trade imbalance as a significant strategic advantage and will not hesitate to use it.
“The Administration and our allies must immediately put in place the harshest sanctions possible, including full removal from the global payments messaging system, and completely isolate Russia and Putin from international markets. We must also take meaningful steps to end our dependence on tyrants and dictators for critical resources. It must be done for the safety of the American People, to maintain our position as the world’s largest economy, and to make clear to international onlookers who plan to take advantage of this Administration’s perceived weakness that further aggressions will not be tolerated now or in the future.”