The National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council have said they support the introduction of a U.S. Senate bill that will establish permanent normal trade relations with Russia by repealing the 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment.

Members of the World Trade Organization formally approved in late 2011 Russia’s terms for membership in the organization. But for U.S. companies to benefit from Russia’s accession, it will be necessary for the U.S. Congress to permanently remove Russia from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the Trade Act of 1974 and authorize the president to extend permanent normal trade relations to Russia. Russia is currently the third-largest export market for U.S. broiler meat and is the tenth-largest export market for U.S. turkey. 

“Continuing to export $300 million of poultry to Russia annually will provide better incomes for more U.S. workers and additional poultry to be produced by a growing number of family farmers across America,” said the poultry groups in a statement. “The Senate will not be voting on Russia’s WTO accession; rather, it will be voting on giving the U.S. 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 WTO.

“The U.S. poultry industry encourages swift action on this legislation to establish [permanent normal trade relations] before Russia joins the WTO,” said the groups. “This gives the U.S. the best chance of enjoying the full economic benefits that comes with Russia’s WTO membership.”