On Friday the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a measure to permanently normalize trade with Russia, a move that means more sales of American goods and services to the world's ninth largest economy.
The bill is especially important to Texas.
"No state will benefit more from increased trade with Russia than Texas," says U.S. Representative Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands), chairman of the Trade sub-committee and a sponsor of the bill. "Texas already leads the nation in sales to Russia, and our sales are growing faster there than to any other country in the world."
"By holding Russia accountable to play by the same trade rules as America, this creates new opportunities for our state's energy, manufacturing, agriculture, technology and our growing services companies. The bottom line is more sales from Texas and more jobs for Texas."
Texas is the number one state in exports to Russia, with state sales increasing 32% in the last year. Brady predicts lowering Russian trade barriers, protecting U.S. intellectual property and requiring sound science in food safety will allow Texas to compete even more successfully against China, Europe and other nations.
A Friday morning vote is expected on H.R. 6156, the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012. The measure allows American companies to take advantage of Russia's August 22nd accession to the World Trade Organization, holds the White House accountable to make sure Russia abides by its commitments, and creates new tools to pressure Russia on human rights violations. Without passage of the bill, American companies will not be able to compete on a level playing field as other nations, nor have a ready dispute mechanism to challenge trade violations.