Economic sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine are already affecting small businesses in New Jersey, according to the Newark City Council voting on Tuesday suspend licenses for Lukoil gas stations in the state’s largest city.
But U.S. Senator Corey Booker and MP Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) said Lukoil employees in Newark and more than 100 other parts of the state would be able to find new jobs.
“That’s good news,” Booker said. “The demand for workers is now very, very high. People are desperate to hire people. ”
Malinowski said the purpose of the sanctions was not to punish workers, and that Lukoil could be one of the few New Jersey businesses that could be affected.
“We have a lot of gas stations. There are franchise opportunities in this country that are not Lukoil, ”he said. “I think the bigger implications for all of us for our economy have to do with energy prices.”
Lukoil North America is part of Lukoil, a Russian oil and gas company with strong ties to Russian oligarchs linked to President Vladimir Putin. Individual stations are owned by franchisees.
Two New Jersey lawmakers said the bigger problem is the large profits of large oil companies at the expense of small businesses that pay higher energy costs.
“They enjoy us, and that’s because we don’t have a fair and free market. We have no competition, ”Booker said. “We’ve allowed them to consolidate and become so influential in everyone in their DC who sees their lobbyists where they spend hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying us. You understand the power they have in the American context. “
Malinowski wants President Joe Biden to ban Russian oil imports to the United States, but acknowledged that the move would be largely symbolic.
“If we did that, other countries would simply buy this Russian oil, so it wouldn’t necessarily cost Putin a penny,” Malinowski explained.
Instead, Malinowski prefers sanctions against Russian oil exports.
“There are some people who are sincerely urging us to do this because it is a way to deny Putin more money for his chest,” he said. “But I think there’s a guerrilla element to that in the sense that there are people belonging to another party who would like to push. President Biden will impose an oil embargo and then accuse President Biden of the inevitable increase in gas prices.” which the Americans will face in the pumps ”.
Booker and Malinowski commented at a roundtable hosted by Invest in America Now to discuss the impact of the U.S. bailout plan on small businesses in New Jersey.
According to Invest in America Now, more than 49% of all New Jersey employees work in small businesses, and more than 163,000 new business applications have been filed in New Jersey.
Booker described the law as a way to “return a lot of resources to our state, to our small business, to our restaurants, to our places.”
“Small business drives not only our country’s economy, but again, this deep character in America’s legacy,” Booker said. “Mom and pop shops lie or main streets in every little town, in the city, all over New Jersey, family restaurants, offices hidden in a corner building, they do an incredible job.”
Also Thursday, Malinowski and MP Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) unveiled a bull that will size and redesign the assets of oligarchs linked to Putin.
“It would be appropriate and right to use the wealth that the Putin regime has supported to rebuild the country that Putin is destroying,” Malinowski said. “The Ukrainian people need to see how the boats, planes and villas of Putin’s allies are seized and sold, and they need to know that the proceeds will help their country and business.”