Russia’s ban on imports of meat products from the United States has cost the U.S. from $5 billion to $6 billion since it went into effect in February of 2013, the U.S. ambassador to Russia said recently.

Ambassador Michael McFaul told the business daily Kommersant that the ban was a big problem for the United States, and that he would personally continue to work for it to be removed.

Russia banned U.S. pork and beef imports over concerns about ractopamine, a growth additive used in an estimated 80 percent of U.S. pork and cattle.

About two dozen countries have approved ractopamine as safe for use, but the European Union, China, Taiwan and several other countries have joined Russia in banning...