Raising their first concern under WTO rules after the passage of permanent normal trade relations between the United States and Russia, USTR Ron Kirk and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a statement in December over Russia’s ban on beef and pork imports containing ractopamine. Russia, which imports most of its beef from the U.S., will require pre-entry laboratory certification of ractopamine-free meat and will impact up to $500 million of meat exports. Despite differing views among countries, the Codex Alimentarius Commission – the international food standards body – approved acceptable limits of ractopamine in July. The statement by Kirk and Vilsack concludes that, “[e]specially in light of its commitment to use international standards, this is an important opportunity for Russia to demonstrate that it takes its WTO commitments seriously.”