Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, made the following statement after the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee announced they are cosponsoring legislation to terminate Jackson-Vanik status for Russia and Moldova, allowing Permanent Normal Trade Relations to be granted. They expect to mark up the legislation next week.
"While this legislation removes Russia from the Jackson-Vanik amendment, I am pleased the leadership of the Ways and Means Committee has indicated they support including the Magnitsky legislation on human rights before it comes to the floor. The underlying bill promotes rule of law in Russia and addresses significant enforcement concerns, particularly on the protection of intellectual property rights and Russia's compliance with WTO obligations. If Russia joins the WTO in the next few weeks as expected, passage of this legislation will mean growth for American industry and workers by taking advantage of reduction in barriers to U.S. exports from the beginning.
"While this is a positive step forward for American job growth, I remain particularly concerned about Russian international engagement and the ongoing violence in Syria. Russia must continue to work diligenty with the international community to arrive at an acceptable solution to the humanitarian crisis."