The American Soybean Association is urging the Senate Finance Committee to establish permanent normal trade relations with Russia as the committee holds hearings on the implications of Russia's accession into the World Trade Organization for the U.S.
The U.S. has maintained normal trade relations with Russia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1992. Growth in the Russian animal protein industry has led to a significant increase in demand for soybeans over the past decade. Russia’s main import partners, however, are Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, leaving room for growth within the market for U.S. soybean exports. “The pork and poultry industries, which use soybean meal in animal feed, are poised to see great success in Russia as income levels rise and the demand for meat increases," said American Soybean Association First Vice President Danny Murphy. "What benefits these industries benefits soybean farmers. Those potential positives, however, hinge on further expansion of trade to Russia. The establishment of [permanent normal trade relations] with Russia is critical to our ability to increase soybean exports into Europe’s largest consumer market and the world’s 11th largest economy.
“Russia is an important part of U.S. business’ global strategy to create and sustain jobs at home by enhancing our long-term competitiveness abroad," said Murphy. "Many U.S. companies have developed vibrant, profitable and rapidly-growing business and trade with Russia, with clear strategic benefits to parent companies, exports from, and employment in the United States. Without [permanent normal trade relations], U.S. companies and their employees will be left behind our competitors in this growing and profitable market.”