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Russia, Moldova trade bill passes Senate

The Senate today passed a bill ending the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to Russia and Moldova, and granting President Barack Obama the power to extend permanent normal trade relations to both countries.

The House has already passed the measure, and Obama said in a statement that he looks forward to signing the bill.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., noted in a news release that the legislation, which passed by a vote of 92-4, is expected to double American exports to Russia within five years and support thousands of jobs across every sector of the U.S. economy, including manufacturing, agriculture and services. The bill also helps fight human rights abuses in Russia and extends PNTR to Moldova, Baucus said.

The National Chicken Council, the National Turkey Federation and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council noted in a news release that granting PNTR to Russia will assure that the United States has 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 World Trade Organization. A wide range of other agriculture groups also praised passage of the bill.

Stewart and Stewart, a law firm, issued a report on some of the issues that will arise once Russia has been granted permanent normal trading relations status with the United States.