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Key Vote letter supporting H.R. 6156, “The Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012”

Monday, November 12, 2012 - 7:00pm

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports H.R. 6156, “The Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012,” which would establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia and Moldova. The Chamber strongly urges you to support this legislation, which is on the House schedule this week.

As part of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on August 22, Russia has enacted reforms to further open its market to imports, protect intellectual property, and strengthen the rule of law. More than 150 countries have already moved to seize the commercial benefits of these reforms.

However, until Congress approves PNTR with Russia, Moscow will be free to deny the United States the full benefits of these reforms. Because of our inaction on PNTR, European and Asian companies have won a head start in the Russian market.

PNTR exclusively benefits U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers, and companies selling their goods and services in the Russian market. The United States gives up nothing—not a single tariff—in approving PNTR.

The President’s Export Council estimates that U.S. exports of goods and services to Russia (which topped $11 billion in 2011) could double or triple if PNTR is approved. In other words, PNTR is a true jobs bill. PNTR would cost the American taxpayer nothing, but would open the door to more U.S. exports and more American jobs.

The Chamber strongly supports H.R. 6156 and urges the House to approve it now to extend the full benefits of Russia’s accession to the WTO to U.S. companies, workers, and farmers. The Chamber will include votes on, or in relation to, this bill in our annual How They Voted scorecard.

Sincerely,
R. Bruce Josten