USRBC and Business Coalition Welcome Letter from House GOP Freshmen Urging Action on PNTR with Russia

Jul 13, 2012, 15:33 ET from U.S.-Russia Business Council and Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade

Letter Boasts Record Number of GOP Freshman

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S.-Russia Business Council ( and the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade ( – 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 – today welcomed a letter from 73 House Republican freshmen to President Obama that stressed a commitment to working together to ensure opportunities for American entrepreneurs and workers through increased trade with Russia. The Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade is housed at the U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC). 


USRBC President and CEO Edward Verona applauded the letter, saying "We are delighted to see a record number of House Republican freshmen demonstrating leadership on an issue that seeks to sustain U.S. competitiveness in a growing market. Russia, the 9th largest economy in the world, is poised to become a WTO member in a matter of weeks, and U.S. manufacturers, service providers, farmers and their workers should have access to the same economic reforms and market-opening measures that their foreign competitors will as part of Russia's WTO accession.  We urge President Obama and Congressional leadership to work together to see through enactment of PNTR by the August recess."

Russia's Duma passed legislation affirming Russia's WTO package of commitments on July 10, and its Senate will consider the package next week. As soon as the Russian president signs this legislation and notifies the WTO, Russia will automatically become a WTO member 30 days later.  However, U.S. companies and farmers will not have access to the key benefits of Russia's WTO accession until there is affirmative legislation passed by the U.S. Congress acknowledging Russia's compliance with the Jackson-Vanik amendment and making Russia's normal trade relations (NTR) status permanent. The U.S. President has the authority to extend normal trade relations to countries, but permanent NTR status requires action by the U.S. Congress.  Since 1994, both Republican and Democratic U.S. presidents have found Russia in compliance with Jackson-Vanik.

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:

The Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade is committed to strengthening U.S.-Russian commercial ties and preserving the competitiveness of U.S. firms, farmers and workers in the Russian market. For more information, please visit the Coalition's website at

SOURCE U.S.-Russia Business Council and Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade