Sanctions on Russia Could Affect Wisconsin - WBAY

Sanctions on Russia Could Affect Wisconsin

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Tensions between the United States and Russia increase due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

President Barack Obama signed more executive actions that levying a new round of economic sanctions on senior Russian officials both inside and outside the government.

"Diplomacy between the United States and Russia continues. We've emphasized that Russia still has a different path available, one that de-escalates the situation and one that involves Russia pursuing a diplomatic solution with the government in Kiev," said the president.

He also warned the U.S. could sanction key sectors of the Russian economy if Moscow continues to occupy the Crimea.

The effects of these sanctions could end up hitting a little closer to home. Wisconsin is home to many businesses that have trade agreements with Russia.

The executive order signed Thursday to impose Sanctions on key Russian economic factors could affect not only the Russian economy, but the global economy too.

"The world's becoming more interdependent all of the time," said Tom Nesslein, Associate Professor of Economics at UW-Green Bay. "Wisconsin companies, we have both a large manufacturing sector--relative to many other states--and a good agricultural sector also."

And that means sanctions could affect Wisconsin.

Wisconsin exported more than $200 million worth of goods to Russia in 2011, which supported more than 680 jobs in the state.

The number of exports dropped to around $150 million in 2012 and was expected to increase this year until the crisis in Ukraine. 

"A lot of companies will pull back on doing expansion plans for example, or if they have longer term contracts for sales," said Mark Rhoda-Reis, Americas & Europe Market Development Director. "Everybody holds off until they can  feel that things are a bit more stable."

Experts say while some Wisconsin businesses may feel some impact in the short term, the affect on long term trade has yet to be seen.

"They need a lot of products that are made in the U.S. and made in Wisconsin specifically," Rhoda-Reis said.

"We're not that linked to Russia where it's not necessarily going to throw us into another recession or something," said Nesslein. "It wouldn't be that drastic."

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