Published: May 15, 2012
Washington – Business Roundtable (BRT) President John Engler has sent letters to all 50 state governors calling on them to support Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) legislation and urging Congressional action before the August recess.
“The most significant pending opportunity the United States has to increase trade and investment with another country is with Russia, the world’s 9th largest economy,” Engler said. “Failure by Congress to timely pass Russia PNTR legislation would make it harder for companies in the United States to do business and compete in the growing Russian market.”
The economic benefits from Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) are not automatic. Congress must pass legislation for the United States to fully benefit from all the commitments made by Russia when joining the WTO, which is expected this summer.
“Opening markets such as Russia’s is an effective way to increase export sales of U.S. goods and services and thereby strengthen the U.S. economy,” Engler said. “U.S. manufacturers, service providers, farmers and workers benefit when foreign trade barriers fall and new markets are opened for their exports.”
Passage of Russia PNTR legislation is Business Roundtable’s top trade priority this year. BRT is playing a leading role in the business community’s efforts to achieve this goal. To help make the economic case for PNTR with Russia, BRT recently published state-by-state fact sheets that show the importance of the Russian market to each state, and how every state has the potential to increase its exports to Russia. Those fact sheets are here.
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.