Senate to vote on Russia trade and rights bill

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 06, 2012 08:30 hrs

The Senate is set to endorse legislation that both normalizes trade with Russia and highlights the discord between the two countries over human rights issues.

The vote Thursday to establish permanent normal trade relations with Russia will bring relief to U.S. exporters and investors anxious about losing shares of Russia's growing market to European and Chinese competitors. It also could bring retaliation from Moscow over a provision that sanctions Russian officials who allegedly commit human rights violations.

The House passed the legislation last month and the White House has urged Congress to move quickly to get it to the president's desk.

Russia recently opened its market with its entry into the World Trade Organization, and Congress needs to normalize trade so U.S. exporters can take advantage of that.

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