Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:  Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Date: Nov. 16, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Camp, Mr. Levin, great job in putting this together. I didn't drink the Kool-Aid when I came to Ways and Means on trade, I can tell you that; but I think that this is a major effort on both sides of reconciliation and putting together a good trade deal, so I want to congratulate both of you sincerely.

I want to congratulate Mr. Michaud for seeking the inclusion of tough enforcement provisions. You can have all the trade deals in the world; but if you do not have tough enforcement, then they mean very, very, very little.

I'm very concerned about the imbalance in trade with Russia, which is trying to be our partner here. I mean, imports in 2011 were $34.5 billion, and exports were only $8.3 billion. I hope we reverse that, or we can change that dramatically, with so many items being reduced in terms of what the rates will be.

In New Jersey, it's very important for us. We export auto parts and medical equipment to Russia, for example; and by them joining the WTO, Russian tariffs will be lowered for our exports, and that helps our workers get to work.

This has always been the major issue in any trade deal: Does it hurt our jobs or does it help our jobs? And I'm convinced that this legislation will be of great help to get our trade imbalance down to where we want it to be.

But, Mr. Chairman and SANDY, I'm very concerned about using trade as leverage. The Russians have stuck their finger in our eye on the subject of Syria, and I'd like to use trade as leverage.

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Mr. PASCRELL. I want to make sure that Russia does toe the line. This is very serious business. So if we can't get them to move on Syria, the situation only gets worse. Maybe it's hopeful that we have a coalition which was formed just a few days ago. So I hope that we will use trade as leverage not only in Russia.

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