Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Thad Cochran (R-MS), ranking member of the committee, are urging the Obama administration to take quick action on Russia’s new import ban on U.S. beef, pork, poultry and turkey.  In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Senators Stabenow, Cochran and 31 of their colleagues said the ban is unfounded, not based on sound science, violates World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and would cost the United States economy $600 million annually.  The senators said, “With your swift action and use of all enforcement tools available, it is our sincere hope that the issues surrounding Russia’s import ban can be quickly and decisively resolved, thereby ensuring a stable and predictable trading environment for U.S. livestock producers and exporters.”  On Dec.7, 2012, Russia announced it would begin enforcing a zero-tolerance standard for trace amounts of ractopamine.