Release Date: Nov 13, 2012Contact: 888-249-NEWS
Chamber Urges Swift Passage of Russia PNTR
“This Is a True Jobs Bill, and It Won’t Cost the Taxpayer One Penny,” Says Donohue
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue today praised the House of Representatives for scheduling a vote this week on a bill to establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia, and called for swift passage of the legislation by the House and the Senate.
“We commend House leaders for scheduling a vote on this critically important jobs bill,” said Donohue. “PNTR exclusively benefits Americans selling their goods and services in the Russian market, and the U.S. gives up nothing in approving it.”
“Until Congress approves PNTR with Russia, Moscow will be free to deny the U.S. the full benefits of its accession to the World Trade Organization,” added Donohue. “America’s delay has given European and Asian companies a head start in the Russian market. The good news is that Congress can put American workers and companies back in the game by approving PNTR without further delay."
Over the past several months, the Chamber has conducted an aggressive campaign for approval of PNTR with Russia alongside its partners in the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade, including:
- Meeting with more than 350 Members of Congress and staff to make the case for approval of the legislation;
- Organizing a November 14 House lobby day with dozens of business representatives visiting more than 100 members of Congress to press for passage;
- Issuing a Key Vote Alert today calling Russia PNTR the Chamber’s top trade priority before Congress this year;
- Presenting our arguments in numerous coalition and multi-industry letters, including a recent letter to President Obama and Congress signed by more than 500 companies and associations;
- Releasing a collection of “Faces of Trade” profiles of U.S. small and mid-sized companies that are already seizing the benefits of exporting to Russia -- but that stand to benefit even more once Congress approves PNTR;
- Publishing ads (here and here) in Capitol Hill publications that make the case for PNTR with Russia.
- “This is a true jobs bill, and it won’t cost the taxpayer one penny,” added Donohue. “Russia PNTR enjoys broad bipartisan support, and we urge both chambers to pass this legislation swiftly on behalf of American workers, farmers, and companies.”
As the Chamber’s PNTR Primer explains, Russia is the last major world economy to join the WTO. The President’s Export Council estimates that U.S. exports of goods and services to Russia—which reached an estimated $11 billion in 2011—could double or triple once Russia joins the WTO.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.