Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade Hails Agreement Between the U.S. and Russia

Nov 10, 2006, 00:00 ET from Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Coalition for U.S.-Russia
 Trade, an organization of U.S. companies and trade associations committed
 to Russia's entry in the World Trade Organization (WTO), commended both the
 U.S. and Russian governments for reaching an agreement in principle on
 Russia's bilateral commitments for WTO accession. Based on publicly
 available information, this appears to be a strong, commercially meaningful
     "This historic step brings Russia closer to membership in the WTO's
 system of global trade rules. We look forward to reviewing the details.
 There can be no doubt that having Russia in the WTO on strong commercial
 terms will benefit U.S. manufacturing, services and agricultural
 industries. This builds on our already strong, mutually beneficial
 partnership in the dynamic Russian domestic market," noted Eugene K.
 Lawson, President of the U.S.-Russia Business Council, which serves as
 Secretariat to the Coalition.
     "The U.S. and Russia have worked very hard to reach an agreement that
 brings Russia into the WTO as a member in good standing. We are very
 pleased that the two governments took the time necessary to work through
 some difficult market access issues," said Scott Miller of Procter &
 Gamble, a Coalition Co-Chair. "This bilateral agreement represents another
 crucial step forward by Russia towards greater market liberalization, and
 we look forward to Russia's WTO membership. Now our focus shifts to the
 multilateral process in Geneva, where the Working Party on Russia's
 accession must address Russia's multilateral commitments on matters such as
 customs valuation, the protection of intellectual property rights
 (compliance with the TRIPs Agreement), agricultural subsidies, and import
 licensing. In anticipation of a final accession agreement that
 comprehensively addresses U.S. interests, at the appropriate time we will
 launch our campaign in the U.S. Congress to graduate Russia from the
 Jackson-Vanik provisions of U.S. law and provide Russia with Permanent
 Normal Trade Relations (PNTR). This legislation is necessary to keep U.S.
 companies and workers on an even competitive playing field with other
 foreign competitors in this important market."
     Members of the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade include U.S.-Russia
 Business Council, Business Roundtable, Coalition of Service Industries,
 Emergency Committee for American Trade, National Association of
 Manufacturers, National Foreign Trade Council, American Chamber of Commerce
 in Russia and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Corporations on the Coalition's
 Steering Committee include American International Group, Inc.; The Boeing
 Company; Cargill, Inc.; Caterpillar, Inc.; Chevron Corporation; The Dow
 Chemical Company; Eli Lilly and Company; Ford Motor Company; General
 Electric; Intel Corporation, and Procter & Gamble.
     The Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade is a broad-based group of U.S.
 companies and trade associations across every major sector of the U.S.
 economy. It supports stronger U.S.-Russian economic ties and, specifically,
 Russia's integration into the rules-based system of the WTO on strong,
 commercially meaningful terms.

SOURCE Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade