Washington – Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, welcomed today’s signing by President Obama of legislation establishing permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia. BRT also urged the administration and the next Congress to pursue an active trade agenda in 2013.
“We commend the bipartisan effort put forth by the administration and Congress to enact this important legislation, which will allow U.S. companies and workers to compete on a level playing field in the Russian market,” said Doug Oberhelman, Chairman & CEO, Caterpillar Inc., who chairs BRT’s International Engagement Committee. “We believe this legislation will also support U.S. economic growth and job creation, as Russia is the world’s sixth-largest economy in terms of purchasing power and is home to roughly 142 million consumers who want greater access to American-produced products.”
BRT has made approval of Russia PNTR a top priority this year. From meetings with members of Congress and their staff, Congressional testimony, state and Congressional district data and Web resources, to public opinion polling, advertising, and op-eds around the country, BRT has conducted a wide-ranging advocacy and grassroots campaign throughout the year to press for the enactment of Russia PNTR.
“As we look ahead to 2013, we cannot afford to lose sight of the fact that 95 percent of the world’s consumers are outside of the United States and many markets are growing faster than the U.S. market. We urge the administration to actively pursue trade initiatives that help open markets and ensure two-way trade rules,” Oberhelman said. “Over the years, including during this Congress, trade initiatives have garnered strong bipartisan support and we look forward to working with the next Congress and the administration to advance ongoing and new initiatives to maximize U.S. economic growth through increased engagement in the global marketplace.”