Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ben Nelson of Nebraska today released a letter asking President Obama to prioritize Russia’s compliance with scientific standards set for international trade of for beef, pork and poultry products as part of negotiations with Russia over international trade relations.
 
“As we look to possibly grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations to Russia as part of the WTO accession process, livestock producers in the United States needs the President to give attention to sanitary and phytosanitary issues,” Grassley said.  “As it stands, Russians have standards that simply aren’t supported by science for some U.S. meat and poultry exports.”
 
“Nebraska livestock producers have seen a drop in sales from Russia imposing standards not based entirely on sound science,” Nelson said. “Russia’s restrictions on American livestock violate the WTO rules, and we must have assurances Russia will abide by all of its rules and standards before Russia joins the WTO.”
 
On Thursday, the Finance Committee will hold a hearing on Permanent Normal Trade Relations for Russia.  Grassley, a former chairman of the committee, said he will ask questions of administration officials about Russia’s treatment of U.S. agricultural goods.

Click here to see a signed copy of the letter.