Senators Max Baucus of Montana, John Thune of South Dakota, John Kerry of Massachusetts and John McCain of Arizona have unveiled legislation that would allow U.S. agriculture to participate in Russia’s upcoming World Trade Organization membership. The measure would establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia – and American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says it’s a critical step towards ensuring the U.S. benefits from Russia’s accession to the WTO and remains competitive in that market. 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 – Stallman says – will give U.S. farmers more certain and predictable market access. American Soybean Association President Steve Wellman says the announcement definitely is an exciting one for farmers.
Farm Bureau says Russia’s membership in the WTO will provide significant commercial opportunities for U.S. agriculture. But to guarantee U.S. access to the market opening and legal aspects that are part of the Russia WTO agreement – the group says PNTR for the country must be enacted by Congress.
Source: NAFB News Service