The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is urging members of Congress to pass legislation providing Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to Russia following the country’s admittance into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in August. The House is scheduled to vote on the Russia PNTR this week.
Congress must pass the Russia PNTR in order to allow the U.S. access to certain aspects of Russia’s WTO agreement.
“Russia PNTR is a critical step toward ensuring the U.S. benefits from Russia’s accession to the WTO and remains competitive in that market,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “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.”
Increased trade with Russia would benefit American farmers and ranchers, as agricultural exports to Russia are forecast at $1.4 billion in 2012. The Russian market provides export opportunities for American poultry, pork and beef as domestic consumption in Russia is increasing.
“With this potential for expanding meat exports, obtaining PNTR with Russia is even more important,” Stallman said. “Russia’s membership in the WTO will provide significant commercial opportunities for U.S. agriculture.”