Business Community Coalition Applauds Senate Action to Take Up Russia PNTR Bill, Encourages Swift Passage
WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade applauded today's procedural motion by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid which makes Russia's removal from the Jackson-Vanik amendment and Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia the next item of legislative business in the U.S. Senate.
The Coalition is a broad-based group of manufacturers, service providers and farmers that has organized the business community's outreach to Capitol Hill on Russia PNTR. It is led by the U.S.-Russia Business Council.
Russia PNTR makes Russia's commitments in the World Trade Organization's (WTO) rules-based system fully accessible to U.S. business, and it empowers U.S. business to defend its rights in the Russian market. Since August, 155 other countries have enjoyed the full range of new market-opening measures Russia committed to in joining the WTO and the ability to enforce those commitments – but U.S. businesses have not. For example, Russia PNTR enables U.S. business to take advantage of new commitments by Russia in services, animal and plant health regulations and intellectual property protection that Russia assumed in becoming a WTO member, as well as measures that facilitate greater regulatory transparency and accountability in the Russian market.
"We are delighted to see the Senate moving to consideration of Russia PNTR," said the Coalition's Executive Director Randi Levinas. "This is a bill that saw strong bipartisan support in the House, passing 365-43, because it is a vote for U.S. jobs and the U.S. economy. The Senate should follow suit and pass the House bill quickly without amendment so that the President can sign this into law as soon as possible."
Russia has a GDP of $1.9 trillion, and it imported approximately $400 billion last year in goods and services. Russia's 142 million consumers appreciate high quality, and the country is seeking to improve its infrastructure and modernize its industrial base. U.S. exports to Russia grew 25% in the first three quarters of 2012 compared to 2011, and top U.S. exports are seeing strong growth in aircraft, motor vehicles, machinery and machinery parts, meat, electric generators and telephone sets. With PNTR in place, experts have estimated that U.S. exports to Russia could double within 5 years.
The Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade is a broad-based group of U.S. corporations, trade associations and small businesses actively seeking to increase U.S. exports and jobs with increased trade with Russia. The Coalition is committed to ensuring the enactment of Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia in order to preserve the competitiveness of U.S. firms, farmers and workers in the Russian market. The Coalition is housed at the U.S.-Russia Business Council (www.usrbc.org) which serves as the Secretariat for the Coalition. For more information, please visit the Coalition's website at www.usrussiatrade.org.
SOURCE Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade