Russia has implemented a requirement that all pork and beef imported from the U.S. be tested and certified free of the feed additive ractopamine, a move which could affect more than $500 million a year in U.S. meat exports to the country, according to reports.
In response, the U.S. has called for a suspension of the requirement, with some saying the implementation is retaliation for a Senate bill that expands bilateral trade while punishing Russian human rights violators. "The United States is very concerned that Russia has taken these actions, which appear to be inconsistent with its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization," said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. "The United States calls on Russia to suspend these new measures and restore market access for U.S. beef and pork products.
"The United States sought, and Russia committed as part of its WTO accession package, to ensure that it adhered rigorously to WTO requirements and that it would use international standards unless it had a risk assessment to justify use of a more stringent standard," they said. "Especially in light of its commitment to use international standards, this is an important opportunity for Russia to demonstrate that it takes its WTO commitments seriously."