WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has taken another step toward ending Cold War restrictions on trade with Russia.
The House Ways and Means Committee, in a voice vote, approved legislation that would create permanent normal trade relations with Russia. Last week the Senate Finance Committee signed off on similar legislation.
Russia is set to join the World Trade Organization on Aug. 22. Congress must act to remove trade restrictions imposed on the former Soviet Union so American exporters can take advantage of lower trade barriers that will accompany WTO membership.
Both the full House and Senate must now vote on the legislation.
The trade bill is expected to be accompanied by legislation that would punish Russian officials involved in human rights violations.