Published: July 19, 2012
Washington – Business Roundtable (BRT) today praised the announcement by House Ways and Means Committee and Trade Subcommittee leaders that they will introduce bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to provide permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia. The committee plans to mark up the legislation next week and, if approved by Congress this summer, the legislation would allow U.S. companies to start to boost sales to Russia.
“An economy that is the ninth largest in the world should not be just our 31st largest goods export market,” said Doug Oberhelman, Chairman & CEO, Caterpillar Inc., and Chair of BRT’s International Engagement Committee. “Clearly there is tremendous opportunity to increase U.S. exports to Russia, which in turn, will boost the U.S. economy and drive job growth.”
With a population of 142 million, and a rapidly growing middle class, Russia has become the world’s ninth largest economy. In 2011, Russia imported nearly $300 billion in goods – yet the United States accounted for only five percent of those imports.
Oberhelman praised House Ways and Means Committee Leaders Dave Camp (R-MI) and Sander Levin (D-MI), and Trade Subcommittee Leaders Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Jim McDermott (D-WA) for their leadership in introducing the PNTR legislation. The bill comes one day after the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved Russia PNTR legislation.
“Without PNTR, all 155 WTO members – except the United States – will be eligible to receive the full benefits of Russia’s market-opening concessions,” Oberhelman said. “We urge the House and Senate to approve PNTR this summer and help secure new economic opportunities for U.S. manufacturers, service providers, farmers and workers.”
Passage of Russia PNTR legislation is Business Roundtable’s top trade priority this year. To learn more, visit www.brt.org/Russia.
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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.