March 05,2002

Grassley Works to Keep Fair Trade Market for Poultry Farmers

Iowa Senator Sends Letter to Russian Ambassador

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley today sent a letter to the Russian Ambassador tothe United States to express concern about Russia’s ban on United States poultry imports. Grassleysaid the ban was unjustified because the United States had met deadlines put forth by the Russiangovernment. He also said that the Russian ban directly affects several Iowa turkey processors andcould lower poultry prices throughout the industry in Iowa.

Grassley’s letter follows here.

March 5, 2002
The Honorable Yuri V. Ushakov
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the
Russian Federation to the United States
2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007

Dear Mr. Ambassador:

I am writing to express my very strong concern about Russia’s ban on United States poultryimports, which your government instituted by an order dated February 28. Specifically, I have threeconcerns about this unjustified ban.

First, even though Russia established a March 1 deadline for the United States to provideadditional information requested by the Russian Veterinary Service, and the requested informationwas submitted by the United States to the Russian embassy in Washington on February 28, and tothe Russian Veterinary Service on March 1, I understand the decision to impose the ban had alreadybeen made on February 28. Instituting an import ban prior to the established deadline is unfair, andcontrary to the comity that should govern our bilateral trade relations.

Second, I am concerned about the unwarranted severity of the Russian government’s actionin this case. There is no question that the United States complied fully and in good faith with therequest of your government, within the time that was provided. Complete, good faith complianceshould never warrant such a drastic action.

Third, I understand that although the ban will take effect as of March 10, the RussianVeterinary Service nevertheless will not issue any new import licenses effective immediately. I failto understand why all poultry exports must cease prior to the effective date of the import ban.Our two countries have worked effectively together in the past to resolve difficult bilateraltrade issues. I sincerely hope that we can quickly resolve this issue, before it affects other importantbilateral concerns.


Charles E. Grassley