Washington – Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, today lauded the U.S. Senate’s approval of recent House-passed legislation establishing permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia. BRT has made approval of Russia PNTR a top priority this year.
“With roughly 142 million consumers and its position as the world’s sixth-largest economy in terms of purchasing power, Russia is a significant market for U.S. exporters like our company. Today’s approval of Russia PNTR is a victory for American companies and workers,” said Doug Oberhelman, Chairman & CEO, Caterpillar Inc., and Chair of BRT’s International Engagement Committee, who urged Congress to approve Russia PNTR in testimony earlier this year before the House Ways and Means Committee.
“This legislation will help support much-needed U.S. economic growth and job creation. America’s business leaders applaud members of the Senate for approving Russia PNTR by a wide bipartisan margin, and we thank Senators Reid and McConnell for scheduling the vote and Senators Baucus, Hatch, Kerry, Thune and McCain for their leadership on the legislation,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO of Alcoa Inc.
“We applaud the actions of the Congress in passing this important legislation and urge the President to quickly sign it into law to enable U.S. companies and workers to compete on a level playing field with foreign competitors in the growing Russian market,” said Samuel R. Allen, Chairman and CEO of Deere & Company, who testified earlier this year on behalf of BRT and Deere & Company before the Senate Finance Committee.
Among its many Russia PNTR advocacy and grassroots activities throughout the year, BRT has done the following:
- State Fact Sheets: Detail the economic importance of PNTR for every state. Distributed state data to Congressional offices and to media and state and local business leaders across the country.
- Web Resources: BRT’s website has featured an interactive U.S. map, ways to contact Congressional offices and numerous other resources.
- Congressional Testimony: Oberhelman testified before the House Ways & Means Committee and Allen testified before the Senate Finance Committee.
- Outreach to Governors: Letters from BRT President John Engler to all 50 state governors encouraging support for Russia PNTR.
- Advertising: Inside-the-Beltway print ad campaign.
- Polling: Public opinion polling showing 70 percent of Americans support Congressional action to increase U.S. exports to Russia.
- Op-Ed Campaign: Placed dozens of op-eds by Oberhelman and by other state and local leaders in publications throughout the country.
Passage of Russia PNTR legislation is Business Roundtable’s top trade priority this year. To learn more, visit www.brt.org/Russia.