A universe of support for Russian PNTR
Our friends at the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade have been keeping track of supporters of Congressional approval of Permanent Normal Trade Relations for Russia, the necessary step for the United States to gain the economic benefits of Russia's pending membership in the World Trade Organization. It's an impressive roster of trade associations and businesses, including leading U.S. companies headed by BRT-member CEOs. We highlight the latter, with excerpts from recent statements, including those on introduction of S. 3285, a bill to authorize the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) to products of the Russian Federation:
- The Boeing Company, "Russia is making significant concessions that will open up the world’s 9th largest economy to U.S. goods and services. To take full advantage of those concessions, including substantial tariff reductions on commercial aircraft, and keep America competitive with exporters in other nations, Congress must establish permanent normal trade relations with Russia and graduate Russia from the requirements of the 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment."
- Citi, "Citi applauds the introduction of legislation which would allow the United States to provide Permanent Normal Trade Relations status to Russia. The bill, originally co-sponsored by Senators Baucus, Kerry, Thune, and McCain, seeks to allow U.S. services and goods providers to compete on a fair basis with other World Trade Organization members for a share of the eleventh largest market in the world. Citi is pleased to see the Russian Government on the verge of accepting the external rules-based trade system of the WTO, and looks forward to continuing its leadership role as a financial services provider in Russia.”
- The Dow Chemical Company: "'I commend the U.S. Senate for their action to help American competitiveness. Any further delay in granting this important status to Russia could place American workers and companies at a significant disadvantage versus our foreign competitors', stated Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company. 'The only thing the U.S. can do in order to secure these significant market access benefits is to pass the Permanent Normal Relations (PNTR) with Russia into law as soon as possible.'"
- DuPont, Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Thomas M. ConnellyL: “DuPont has seen strong growth for our U.S.-produced products in Eastern Europe in recent years. We look forward to robust growth in Russia as they enter the World Trade Organization (WTO). For U.S. companies to take advantage of the WTO rules and protections available to our foreign competitors in the Russian market, the U.S. Congress needs to provide permanent normalized trade relations for Russia, and we encourage them to act swiftly to ensure a level playing field for U.S. companies.”
- General Electric, "GE welcomes the introduction today of legislation to establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia and repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment. As Russia joins the WTO later this summer, this legislation is critical to the ability of US companies to obtain the full benefits of Russia's WTO commitments and compete on a level playing field in this market with our global competitors. We support its passage."
In other PNTR news, the Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing for next Thursday, June 21, "Russia’s WTO Accession - Administration’s Views on the Implications for the United States."
Check out Business Roundtable's materials on Russia trade and what PNTR means for U.S. companies and workers at www.brt.org/russia.