WASHINGTON – The US Senate passed legislation that would establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia. The Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012 passed by a 92-4 vote. The US House or Representatives passed the bill in November.

The Russian Federation officially joined the World Trade Organization Aug.22. It is the ninth-largest economy in the world, making it a key market for US agriculture interests. Economists have forecast that US exports to Russia, currently valued at $11 billion annually, could double in five years with the removal of trade barriers. Russia’s accession to the WTO commits the country to lowering tariffs, removing trade barriers and submitting to the WTO’s dispute resolution process.

The National Turkey Federation (NTF), National Chicken Council (NCC) and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) commended the Senate for passing the legislation and urged President Obama to sign the bill into law.

“This is an important issue for the US poultry industry, and we appreciate the senators who voted in favor of this bill,” the groups said in a joint statement. “We commend their bipartisan voting for the betterment of trade, and we encourage the president to act quickly, as the House and Senate have, and sign this bill into law.”