Trade With Russia
November 16th the House passed legislation that grants Russia and Moldova permanent normal trade relations with the United States by a bipartisan vote of 365 to 43. That legislation is H.R. 6156, the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act, which repeals the Jackson-Vanik Amendment that was signed into law in 1974 to influence emigration policies of communist countries. Since Russia joined the World Trade Organization in August that Cold-War era law has allowed Russia to impose tariffs on United States products while those imported from other WTO countries enter Russia duty-free. Congressman Doc Hastings talks about H.R. 6156.
HASTINGS: (This is) a bill to expand trade with Russia, this goes back to the Cold War era. Since Russia now is part of the WTO there are other forces there that will hopefully make them comply and we are part of that.
Hastings also went on to say that fair trade between Russia and the U.S. is essential to Washington state’s economy where nearly fifty percent of jobs rely on trade. The passing of this bipartisan legislation would make it possible for Washington growers and manufacturers to avoid the current steep tariffs imposed on them by Russia while their foreign competitors export to Russia duty free. In 2011, Washington state exports to Russia totaled over $400 million. H.R. 6156 is awaiting consideration in the Senate.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Ag Information Network.