ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, U.S. — The American Soybean Association (ASA) said on Nov. 16 that it  welcomed passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012 and encourages the U.S. Senate to vote on the bill quickly.
With a vote of 365-43, the bill overwhelmingly passed the House, and if passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Barack Obama, would graduate Russia from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, and establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with the world’s ninth-largest economy. ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Nebraska, U.S., applauded the House’s bipartisan vote and called on the Senate to pass the bill quickly.
“Today’s passage of the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act is a great step toward helping American soybean farmers capitalize on the valuable and fast-growing Russian marketplace. We call on the Senate to pass its version of the bill with the same expediency and bipartisan cooperation as their House counterparts so that American soybean farmers can reap the benefits of this new partnership,” said Wellman. “Russia is home to more than 140 million consumers and a fast-growing economy, which last year imported more than $770 million in American meat, poultry, egg and dairy products, which require soybean meal as feed in the production process.”
“Russia was admitted as a member of the World Trade Organization three months ago, and since that time, other nations within the WTO have been able to fully access the Russian market without penalty, but without graduating Russia from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and establishing PNTR, U.S. farmers can’t,” Wellman added. “With this bill signed into law, the U.S. creates opportunities for our farmers to compete in one of the world’s largest and most promising economies.”