Published: June 21, 2012
In testimony yesterday, Doug Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar Inc., and Chair of Business Roundtable’s (BRT) International Engagement Committee, urged Congress to approve permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia before Russia joins the World Trade Organization (WTO) in August. Oberhelman’s testimony was presented yesterday before the House Committee on Ways and Means.
In his remarks, Oberhelman framed the benefits of increasing U.S. exports to Russia, while outlining the stark choice facing Congress as Russia prepares to join the WTO later this summer. Oberhelman stated:
“Russia is the world’s sixth largest economy in terms of purchasing power. It has a population of 142 million with a rapidly-growing middle class. Russia imported nearly $300 billion in goods in 2011, yet the United States accounted for only 5 percent of those imports. An economy of this size should not be just our 31st largest goods export market. Clearly there is tremendous opportunity to increase U.S. exports to Russia.”
“In its consideration of this important issue, Congress should keep in mind that a vote for Russia PNTR legislation is not a vote for the benefit of Russia, but a vote for the benefit of American companies, farmers and workers.”
“Congress shouldn’t give our European and Asian competitors an advantage in Russia. It should pass PNTR this summer so U.S. companies, farmers and workers can be competitive in the Russian market from day one, and so the United States can hold Russia accountable to its WTO commitments.”
Click here to learn more about Russia PNTR and BRT’s ongoing “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.
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