Heavy-equipment makers are backing a Senate bill that seeks to boost U.S. exports to Russia by granting it permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status before it joins the World Trade Organization later this summer. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who introduced the bill on June 12, pledged to work to add human-rights provisions. His bill would repeal a 1974 statute that was aimed at Russia's and other countries' emigration restrictions and effectively blocked their PNTR. "Russia's going to join the WTO no matter what the United States does," says Bill Lane, Caterpillar Inc. Washington, D.C., director. "The question is, are we going to benefit from it?"