President Obama is expected to sign legislation that would enact permanent normal trade relations with Russia, allowing U.S. exporters to take advantage of the country’s recent entrance into the World Trade Organization.
The Senate on Thursday passed the legislation 92-4, after the House approved a similar bill 365-46 on Nov. 16. The normalization of trade relations would repeal the Jacskon-Vanik amendment, a Cold War byproduct aimed at allowing emigrant from the then Soviet Union. The Obama administration said U.S companies could triple annual exports to $30 billion if trade relations are fully restored. The legislation would also normalize trade relations with Moldova.
Obama’s signing of the bill would give U.S. businesses “better access to the growing Russian market on the same terms as their global competitors, and the United States will have WTO procedures available to help ensure that Russia abides by its commitments,” Trade Representative Ron Kirk said.