In a letter to House and Senate leadership, Business Roundtable (BRT) urged Congress to build on the strong bipartisan momentum evidenced by votes in the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee, by approving permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia before the August recess. On behalf of all BRT CEOs, Jim McNerney, Chairman, President and CEO, The Boeing Company, and BRT Chairman; and Doug Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar Inc., and Chairman of BRT’s International Engagement Committee, wrote:
Last week the legislation was approved 24-0 by the Senate Committee on Finance, and today [yesterday] it was approved by voice vote by the House Committee on Ways and Means. These back-to-back, strong bipartisan votes confirm what all of us in the business community already know—that passing the Russia PNTR legislation will be a major win for the U.S. economy and workers in the United States.
Next month Russia will join the World Trade Organization and start to significantly open its markets to other countries. Congress can either pass PNTR now so that, from the outset, the United States can fully benefit from better trade relations with Russia, or Congress can fail to act and put American companies and workers at a competitive disadvantage in Russia. That’s why your acting with a sense of urgency on this issue is so important.
With the world’s 6th largest economy in terms of purchasing power and 142 million people, Russia offers significant opportunities to sell more U.S. goods and services.
With or without PNTR, Russia will join the World Trade Organization (WTO) on August 22nd and all other WTO countries will start to fully benefit, including through Russia’s lower tariffs, stronger IP protections and adherence to WTO trade rules.
If Congress does NOT approve PNTR before then, the United States will not have the same benefits, putting us at a competitive disadvantage to our foreign competitors in Russia.
Click here to learn more about Russia PNTR and BRT’s “50 Days for Trade” campaign.
Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with over $6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 14 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market and invest more than $150 billion annually in research and development – nearly half of all private U.S. R&D spending. Our companies pay $163 billion in dividends to shareholders and generate an estimated $420 billion in sales for small and medium-sized businesses annually.
BRT companies give nearly $9 billion a year in combined charitable contributions.
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