The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) legislation by a vote of 365-43. The legislation will allow the United States to receive the same economic benefits in Russian markets that other World Trade Organization (WTO) members receive. The trade agreement, which includes tariff and sanitary provisions important to agriculture, was negotiated with the United States and other WTO members in order for Russia to join the WTO, including:
· Pork: Russia has agreed to a global Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) of 400,000 tons for fresh/chilled/frozen pork and a separate TRQ of 30,000 tons for pork trimmings. Both TRQs will have zero in-quota rates. As of Jan. 1, 2020, Russia will adopt a tariff-only regime for pork with a bound duty of 25%. Russia will apply this duty to all imports.
· Beef: Russia expanded beef access from 41,700 tons to 60,000 tons through a U.S.-specific TRQ, with a 15% in-quota tariff. In addition, Russia has established access for high-quality beef with a 15% tariff outside of the tariff rate quota for beef.
· Live Animals: Russia has committed to a final bound tariff of 5% for live animals, with some tariff lines at zero. Russia currently applies up to a 40% tariff on live animals.
· Poultry: Russia will maintain a 250,000-ton TRQ for chicken halves and leg quarters with an in-quota tariff rate of 25% and separate TRQ access for commercially important turkey products.
· Russia will be required to apply its trade regime consistent with WTO rules, including those on technical barriers to trade, subsidies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, thereby limiting its ability to engage in arbitrary actions that have hindered U.S. exports of goods and services.
The Senate is expected to pass the PNTR legislation in December.