Reacting to news that a Senate vote on the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012 may happen as early as Wednesday (Dec, 5) of this week the American Soybean Association (ASA) is encouraging all senators to vote yes on the House-passed version of the bill without amendment.

The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Barack Obama, would graduate Russia from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, and establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with the world’s ninth-largest economy.

The House overwhelmingly passed its version of the bill, H.R. 6156, on Nov. 16.

ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb., issued the following statement on the legislation:

“We call on the Senate to vote yes on the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act as quickly and in the same bipartisan fashion as their counterparts in the House of Representatives.

“By establishing PNTR with Russia, American soybean farmers can reap the benefits of more than 140 million consumers and a fast-growing economy, which last year imported more than $770 million in American meat, poultry, egg and dairy products, each of which require soybean meal as feed in the production process.

“Until the U.S. graduates Russia from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and establishes PNTR, we will not be able to fully access the Russian market without penalty. With this bill signed into law, our farmers can compete in one of the world’s largest and most promising economies.”