Following an important House vote Friday on trade status with Russia, Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock released the following statement: “Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by a vote of 365 – 43 permanent normal trade relations to Russia. Indiana Farm Bureau appreciates the support of Reps. Bucshon, Burton, Carson, Donnelly, Rokita, Stutzman and Young in passage of H.R. 6156 in the House.
“It is great to see such convincing support by Indiana’s members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Trade is critically important to Indiana agriculture and passing PNTR allows for Indiana farmers, particularly pork, poultry and beef producers, to gain more competitive access to a significant market and economic opportunity.
“Russia joined the World Trade Organization on Aug. 22, 2012. If PNTR is not enacted U.S. farmers will continue to be disadvantaged in the Russian market. American agriculture exports over $1.4 billion to Russia annually, primarily poultry, pork and beef products.
“Now we urge action and support in the U.S. Senate.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman echoed Villwock’s thoughts, “America’s farmers and ranchers 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. Russia’s membership in the WTO will provide significant commercial opportunities for U.S. agriculture, including increased sales of poultry, pork and beef.
American Soybean Associaiton President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, NE., applauded the House’s bipartisan vote and called on the Senate to pass the bill quickly. “Today’s passage of the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act is a great step toward helping American soybean farmers capitalize on the valuable and fast-growing Russian marketplace. We call on the Senate to pass its version of the bill with the same expediency and bipartisan cooperation as their House counterparts so that American soybean farmers can reap the benefits of this new partnership,” said Wellman. “Russia is home to more than 140 million consumers and a fast-growing economy, which last year imported more than $770 million in American meat, poultry, egg and dairy products, which require soybean meal as feed in the production process.”
Source: Indiana Farm Bureau