Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia

Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia

Legislation was introduced by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), John Thune (R-SD), John Kerry (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ) in the Senate to establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia.   The bill would repeal the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment, which was in response to the Soviet Union’s policy of preventing the emigration of Jewish people and prisoners of conscience.  Late last year, the World Trade Organization (WTO) approved Russia’s membership. For the United States to benefit from Russia’s accession, the Jackson-Vanik amendment must be repealed.  The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said Russia’s membership into the WTO would provide commercial opportunities for U.S. agriculture.  “U.S. farmers will have more certain and predictable market access as a result of Russia’s commitment not to raise tariffs on any products above the negotiated rates and to apply international food safety standards in a uniform and transparent manner,” according to AFBF.  However, there still remain concerns within the livestock sector of Russia bringing its practices into compliance with WTO sanitary and phytosanitary standards as it relates to meat imports from the United States.

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