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Obama Seeks Trade Pact

WASHINGTON &mdash The Obama administration will work with Congress "this year to grant Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations, so that U.S. firms and workers fully benefit from Russia's accession to the WTO," U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk told the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.

For U.S. companies to get the tariff cuts Russia will subscribe to, the United States must repeal a Cold War-era law inhibiting full market opening.

Russia is trying to join the WTO by midyear, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said Dec. 8. U.S. trade with Russia topped $29 billion in the first 11 months of 2010, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission.


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