WASHINGTON (AP) - One of the first actions of the lame-duck Congress is an expected vote on giving U.S. exporters greater access to Russia's newly opened markets.
Business groups have long clamored for Congress to remove Cold War-era trade restrictions now that Russia is a member of the World Trade Organization. Because of those restrictions, American exporters are alone among WTO members in not being able to take advantage of market-opening steps required by membership in the trade organization.
Russia entered the WTO in August but House Republican leaders were reluctant to bring up the bill before the election because of the overall poor relations between the two countries. The House now plans to vote on it next week, and the Senate says it will take it up soon after House passage.