(Posted Tue. Jul 17th, 2012)
July 17: The Senate Finance Committee will mark up legislation Wednesday to grant Russia permanent Most Favored Nation status. In December 2012, Russia was invited to join the World Trade Organization. However, if the United States does not take steps to lift the Jackson Vanik amendment and grant Russia MFN status, U.S. farmers will not be able to take advantage of Russia’s accession to the WTO.
NCGA urges Congress to take immediate action to repeal the Jackson Vanik amendment thereby allowing farmers to take advantage of a more open and level playing field.
“When Russia joins the WTO it must abide by stricter sanitary and phytosanitary obligations,” Chad Blindauer, Chair of NCGA’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team, said. “This accountability will greatly help U.S. farmers and ranchers, including those with livestock. We are encouraged that the legislation requires our trade representative to negotiate a bilateral agreement so Russia recognizes our sanitary and phytosanitary measures as equivalent to its own.”
Russia is expected to meet the July 23rd deadline for notifying the WTO that it has accepted the terms of its membership. After 30 days, Russia will become a full WTO member, regardless of whether Congress has acted on permanent MFN status.