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Public Statements

Russia's Membership in the World Trade Organization

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LONG. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Madam Speaker, we agree that we need to get our Nation's economy growing again in order to create jobs for American families. Increasing our Nation's exports is one area that would help grow the economy and create jobs without costing one thin dime. I support free trade because more exports equal more jobs.

I recently led an effort, as Mr. Dreier mentioned there, to rally my freshman class to support permanent normal trade relations with Russia. After nearly two decades of negotiations, Russia is poised to join the World Trade Organization this summer, and without repealing a Cold War-era trade restriction, American businesses will be at a severe disadvantage to international competitors. While the U.S. already trades with Russia, the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik provision would level the playing field for U.S. exports after Russia joins the WTO.

The media and some in this country like to portray my freshman class as a group that's not willing to work for the benefit of the American people or work in a bipartisan spirit. We can put those portrayals to rest. The President has shown an interest in increasing American exports, and the purpose of my letter was to show the President that 73 Members of the Republican freshman class are willing to work on this issue to help support American jobs.

I will continue to support efforts that will boost trade opportunities for American manufacturers and businesses. This is about doing what is right for our country and supporting efforts to create jobs for American families.

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