New York, N.Y., July 19, 2012 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomed the Senate Finance Committee’s approval of legislation to establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia.
“This is a critical first step in securing U.S. access to an important emerging market,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “As Russia joins the World Trade Organization, it is opening up many new opportunities for foreign trade and investment, but the U.S. will miss out on these and be at a disadvantage versus our competitors if we do not adopt PNTR. We urge swift consideration by the full Senate, and passage by both houses of Congress before the August recess.”
Russia’s upper house of parliament has voted to ratify entry into the WTO. The country will become the WTO’s 156th member 30 days after Russian President Vladimir Putin approves the measure, and will begin cutting import tariffs and opening up large sectors of its economy to foreign investment. Passage of PNTR is required to lift trade restrictions on Russia under the 1970s-era Jackson-Vanik amendment, which have been deemed to violate WTO rules.
Robinson noted that Russia is also taking steps to join the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which would entail additional steps to open Russia to foreign trade and investment. Through its membership in BIAC, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, USCIB is working to advise the OECD and its member governments on appropriate terms for Russian entry into the organization, and is assessing the potential impact for U.S. business.
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.
Jonathan Huneke, VP communications, USCIB
(212) 703-5043 or firstname.lastname@example.org