WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S.-Russia Business Council (www.usrbc.org) and the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade (www.usrussiatrade.org) applaud Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders in both chambers of Congress for their commitment to hold a vote in September on legislation to enact Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia.
In statements issued late last week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) supported adoption of PNTR as soon as Congress reconvenes in September. At the same time, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) expressed confidence that the legislation would pass the House "with a strong majority."
"We welcome this strong commitment by leaders of both parties to vote on PNTR when Congress returns in September," said USRBC President and CEO Ed Verona. "It is disappointing that PNTR was not passed before the recess, since U.S. business will not be on a level playing field with foreign competitors when Russia joins the WTO on August 22," according to Verona. "However," he added, "the statements by Mr. Cantor and Mr. Hoyer demonstrate that support for PNTR is bipartisan. The USRBC and the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade will continue working to secure final passage."
Randi Levinas, Executive Director of the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade, said: "This legislation will ensure that U.S. companies remain competitive in the world's 9th largest economy and will improve the prospects for U.S. employment through increased exports to Russia. Given current economic conditions at home and in traditional export markets, we fully expect Members of Congress to embrace this bill that creates opportunities for American manufacturers, service providers, workers, and farmers."
Passage of Russia PNTR legislation at the earliest possible date is the U.S. business community's top legislative trade priority this year. It is essential that the U.S. has equal access to Russia's $400 billion import market as it enters the WTO.
The U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC) represents the interests of its 250 U.S. and Russian member companies, providing business development and government relations support in both Moscow and Washington. The USRBC contributes to the stability and development of a free market in Russia and supports Russia's integration into the global economy. It also serves as the Secretariat for the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade. For more information, visit the USRBC online at: www.usrbc.org.
The Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade is a broad-based group of approximately 150 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. For more information, please visit the Coalition's website at www.usrussiatrade.org.
SOURCE U.S.-Russia Business Council and Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade