Today, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) along with Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim McDermott (D-WA) announced they will introduce legislation granting permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia. While a review of the Senate Finance Committee's actual legislative text is still pending, the bill is expected to mirror that Committee's version of Russia PNTR. Chairman Camp also announced that the Committee will markup the legislation next week.
Additionally, all four Members expressed an understanding that the Magnitsky legislation, which is not within the Ways and Means Committee's jurisdiction, would be combined with Russia PNTR before the House floor vote.
Chairman Camp: "I am pleased that we were able to gain bipartisan support for this important legislation that supports U.S. jobs and exports, and I look forward to marking it up next week. Russia PNTR will ensure that U.S. workers, employers, farmers and ranchers have an even playing field when competing for business in Russia. As a long-time supporter of the Magnitsky legislation, I am advocating that it be paired with PNTR before a House vote."
Ranking Member Levin: "The bill we are introducing today includes important additional measures relating to the enforcement of key provisions, ranging from the protection of intellectual property rights, to barriers to U.S. exports, and Russia's compliance with its WTO commitments. The Magnitsky bill is also an important step forward on human rights, to be coupled with PNTR after Committee action. At the same time, we must continue to use the opportunity of action on Russia PNTR to send a clear message to Russia of our deep concern about their continuing failure to work with the other nations of the world to address the violence against civilians in Syria."
Trade Subcommittee Chairman Brady: "I am pleased that the Ranking Members of the Committee and Subcommittee are planning to join us today in introducing PNTR legislation for Russia. If we don't move quickly, we are giving our competitors in Europe and China an edge over us in the Russian market, costing U.S. jobs."
Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member McDermott: "After 18 years of negotiations, Russia is about to join the vast majority of the nations of the world as a member of the World Trade Organization, and this PNTR bill will ensure that the United States receives the full benefits of Russia's membership. They've come a long way in addressing our concerns. I thank Chairman Camp and Chairman Brady for working with us on a bipartisan basis to introduce and mark up a strong PNTR bill."