Russia has officially joined the World Trade Organization, but the U.S. has yet to grant the country permanent normal trade relations status, which the WTO mandates all countries do for other members. Russia first submitted an application for membership in 1993 and the country has been granted normal trading relations status by the U.S. on an annual basis since the early 1990s. The designation from the U.S. must be made permanent for the U.S. to receive benefits of Russia’s WTO membership.
House and Senate committees have approves measures to grant the trade status to Russia and Maldova, but action has yet to be taken in either full chamber. There are several agricultural organizations encouraging Congress to take action as soon as possible. It is expected that Russia’s WTO accession will provide the U.S. and other WTO members improved trade access to that market and stronger mechanisms to enforce the country’s commitments to domestic supports, export subsidies and state trading enterprise disciplines.