Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the case for congressional approval of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia who is set to join the WTO later this summer. As a result of their accession into the WTO Russia will be required to open up its market and comply with the rules and regulations of the WTO. However, the U.S. will not receive any of these benefits until Congress grants Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR). Any delay in granting Russia PNTR will cause U.S employers, workers, farmers, and ranchers to lose ground to their competitors in other countries.
Establishing PNTR will provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy, doubling exports to Russia in just five years and helping create jobs across every economic sector
especially in manufacturing, services, and agriculture. With the world's 9th largest economy, a population of 142 million, and a large and growing middle class, Russia holds outstanding potential for U.S. companies and workers to export more goods and services. My home state of Texas is the top exporter to Russia among U.S. states, with its exports to Russia growing faster than its exports to the rest of the world. Specifically, Texas exported $1.6 billion worth of goods to Russia in 2011, which directly supported an estimated 4,100 jobs.
With those key stats in mind, I'd like to draw attention to some success stories of Texas companies active in the Russian market. First, Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions, based in Garland, exported more than $4 million worth of heavy drilling equipment to customers in the Russia energy sector in 2010. Secondly, ExxonMobil Corporation has partnered with Rosneft, Russia's largest oil company, to develop oil resources in the Arctic, the Black Sea and Siberia. ExxonMobil also leads the development of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field project in Russia's Far East, where the company has employed its proprietary drilling technology to safely drill to record depths and optimize the project's output. Lastly, Irving based Fluor Corporation has provided engineering, procurement, and construction management for ExxonMobil's Sakhalin-1 operations.
Until Congress passes PNTR with Russia, our foreign competitors--but not the United States--will be able to use WTO mechanisms to enforce Russia's commitments for their companies and workers. PNTR is the only way for Congress to ensure that U.S. companies and workers get equal protection and can lock-in the benefits of Russia's WTO accession agreement. The bottom line is simple: Russian PNTR will lead to more U.S. exports and more American jobs.