U.S. Rep. Billy Long issued the following statement on the need for the United States to grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia, who became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on August 22, 2012:
"If the United States fails to grant permanent normal trade relations with Russia we will be hurting efforts to boost U.S. exports and create needed jobs for American families. Russia has been a member of the World Trade Organization for 31 days, and it is vital that our country's manufacturers and farmers be able to compete with other nations on a level playing field."
In July, Longled the freshman class in support of the effort to boost trade opportunities for American farmers and businesses by extending PNTR status to Russia. Long and 72 other freshman in the House sent a letter to President Obama encouraging the president to move forward with free and fair trade with Russia. Long and his colleagues support repealing a Cold War-era trade restriction so American businesses will not be at a disadvantage to international competitors now that Russia has joined the WTO. While the U.S. already trades with Russia, the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik provision would level the playing field for U.S. exports with Russia.