Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for action on Russia's discriminatory trade practices toward the U.S. dairy industry in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Specifically, Casey urged the Administration to push the Russian government to allow U.S. dairy exports.
"As the seventh largest exporter of dairy products in the United States, Pennsylvania could benefit from access to Russian markets," wrote Senator Casey. "If the U.S. made effective use of WTO mechanisms, it could hold Russia to international standards and begin to negotiate a trade position with the country."
Russia is one of the largest dairy importers in the world, purchasing about $2 billion worth of dairy products annually. In 2010, the Russian Federation rejected the bilateral U.S.-Russia dairy certificate based on standards that are not in keeping with international standards. This move shut U.S. exporters out of the high demand dairy market in Russia.
When H.R. 6156, The Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012, is signed into law, the U.S. will be able establish permanent normal trade relations with Russia. This status will allow the U.S. to use WTO mechanisms to address issues of Russian dairy import standards and bring them up to par with international standards so that dairy trade may resume between our nations.