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Senator Baucus says Russia trade vote needed by August

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the Senate's finance committee said on Thursday it was important that Congress approve legislation by August to boost trade relations with Russia, despite concerns over its record on human rights and support for Syria.

"This is a one-sided deal in America's favor, but only if we act," Max Baucus said at the start of a hearing on granting "permanent normal trade relations" to America's former Cold-War foe by lifting a 1974 provision that made favorable U.S. tariff rates on Russian goods dependent on the right of Jews and other religious minorities to emigrate.

"Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization this summer will mean thousands of jobs to the United States, but only if we pass Russian permanent normal trade relations legislation by August," Baucus said.

(Reporting By Doug Palmer; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

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