(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The US House of Representatives has approved a bill that would establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia for the first time since the end of the Soviet Union, aiming to seize growing export opportunities from Russia's market.
With the measure passed in a vote of 365-43, the United States made an important step toward removing Cold War trade restrictions and establishing permanent normal trade relations with Russia.
Those trade restrictions against Russia were imposed in 1974 by the US Congress. Russia is one of very few countries that still do not have normal trade status with the United States.
While Russia had joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), only countries that have permanent normal trade relations with it can take advantage of the lower trade barriers that come with WTO membership.
Recently, American businesses have been lobbying for the passage of the bill, which can prevent discrimination against American companies which want to enter Russian market, and lead to a doubling of US exports to Russia.
The bill currently has been sent to the Senate, and the Democratic leadership has said it would consider it promptly despite differences between the House and the Senate.