The House passed the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012, with a vote of 365 to 43, last week. The bill will now pass to the Senate for consideration.
US poultry industry leaders praised the House for its “quick action” on passing the legislation and encouraged the Senate to show similar support. A joint statement from the The National Chicken Council (NCC), National Turkey Federation (NTF), US Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) said: “The US poultry industry applauds the House of Representatives for an overwhelming, bipartisan vote to grant PNTR status to Russia, a move that will spur job creation, boost economic growth and be budget-neutral at the same time. We urge the Senate to follow suit after Thanksgiving and get a bill to the president’s desk by the end of the year.”
The need to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment – a set of trade restrictions imposed on Russia in 1974 – has become increasingly urgent since Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in August. Currently, the amendment means the US is violating its WTO obligations, allowing Russia to penalise US exporters. Industry leaders have also warned that unless PNTR is established with Russia soon, the US will miss out to competitors in Europe and China.
“Since Russia already officially entered into the WTO last summer, PNTR will ensure that poultry companies can take full advantage of new business opportunities, that Russia’s commitments in the WTO are enforced and that American businesses are on an equal playing field in the Russian market,” added the coalition.
“Continuing to export $300m of poultry to Russia annually will provide better incomes for more US workers and additional poultry to be produced by a growing number of family farmers across America.”
US trade representative Ron Kirk also welcomed the House vote, pointing out that the “overwhelming” bipartisan support of the bill was positive for US business.
“This vote brings us one step closer to the day when America’s businesses and workers will enjoy the full benefits of Russia’s World Trade Organization membership, and will no longer be disadvantaged compared to their global competitors,” he said.
“The House made an important vote today to support American businesses’ and workers’ access to the Russian market on a level playing field with their global competitors. We look forward to action from the Senate that will send a bill to the President.”