The Senate passed the Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) legislation by a vote of 92-4. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said, “The Senate’s historic bipartisan vote today moves us closer to having our trade with Russia covered by the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). As a result, American businesses and workers will have better access to the growing Russian market on the same terms as their global competitors, and the United States will have WTO procedures available to help ensure that Russia abides by its commitments.” A number of senators, including Chuck Grassley (R-IA), raised concerns that Russia is using sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues as trade barriers by not following sound science. He said, “The U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture need to keep the pressure on Russia to eliminate safety standards not supported by sound science. American farmers deserve to be treated fairly by our international trading partners, and trade officials from the administration need to advocate for them as much as possible going forward.” The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.