The vote marked the first major act of Congress' lame-duck session, with Democrats and Republicans alike hopeful that it would set the stage for members working together more.
"I hope that some of this rubs off on some of the bills that we're going to be considering in the days and weeks to come, but this really is how this House of Representatives should be run," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.
"Bipartisanship is breaking out all over around here," observed Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash. Like most others, he dismissed the threats of Russian retaliation, saying, "If that's the policy of their government, that will be the policy of their government."
The deal comes after Russia formally joined the World Trade Organization this summer.
Backers said the pact would allow the United States to capitalize on reduced tariffs for many goods, including airplanes. With duties on commercial planes set to be slashed in half, Boeing, which has its largest manufacturing plants in Washington state, said in a statement that it expected to compete for more business: Russian airlines are gearing up to buy nearly 900 commercial airplanes valued at about $100 billion during the next 20 years, the company said.
Republican Rep. Dave Reichert, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, called the legislation "a no-cost job creator" and said it would be a boon to his home state of Washington, which ranked fifth among the states in exports to Russia last year.
Republican Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, predicted that the agreement would double, or perhaps even triple, U.S. exports to Russia within five years. Last year, U.S. exports to Russia hit $11 billion, with the state of Texas leading the way.
Some were pessimistic, however.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., who voted against the bill, predicted the biggest export will be U.S. jobs and that the same trade abuses the United States is experiencing in China will be replicated in Russia."This is a recipe for more job losses," he said.