The U.S. Senate approved yesterday by a vote of 92 to 4 a bill that would repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment and grant to Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status. Since this bill is identical to the one passed by the House last month, a conference committee of the House and Senate will not be necessary.  President Obama has indicated he will sign the bill as soon as it is ready for his signature.

NCC lauded the overwhelming bipartisan vote.

“This is an important issue for the U.S. poultry industry, and we appreciate the senators who voted in favor of this bill,” NCC said in a press release. “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.”

Granting PNTR to Russia will allow the United States to receive the benefits from having Russia join the World Trade Organization (WTO).  It will assure that we have equal accession to general tariff reductions, market opening measures and the ability of U.S. interests, such as poultry, to seek trade relief, if necessary, through the WTO.

PNTR also better assures that the United States can continue to annually export $250 – $300 million of poultry to Russia.

The following four Senators voted against the bill:

  • Sander Levin (D-MI)
  • Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Bernard Sanders  (I-VT)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse  (D-RI)