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Public Statements

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

Floor Speech

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Mr. KIND. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

I want to first commend the chairman and the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Camp and Mr. Levin, for the work they did in getting this legislation to the floor.

I rise in strong support of extending permanent normal trade relations with Russia and Moldova. I also want to commend the chair and the ranking member of the subcommittee, Mr. Brady and Mr. McDermott, for the work that they've done, as well as a gentleman who's not on the floor today--we're going to miss his leadership, he's retiring at the end of this session--Mr. Dreier from California. He's been a great leader on trade policy. He's been a great colleague. We will miss that leadership, and I commend him for his one last lift that he made into making this legislation possible.

In a lot of ways I wish we had passed this before the August recess because every day we delay right now we are losing market share in a large and expanding marketplace in Russia. Our goods, our services, our products, the Made in America goods that we should be exporting right now, we're not until we're able to pass this bill. Russia has already agreed to lower their trade barriers and other nontariff barriers for the entry of our goods.

Just as one example, Great Britain alone over the last couple of years has expanded their exports into the Russian market by over 80 percent. But this legislation will also allow us to enforce rules and have dispute resolution mechanisms that are available through the World Trade Organization, higher rules that Russia now has to comply with.

As another example from my home State of Wisconsin, Russia has, since 2010, shut out all dairy exports that we could make from our country into Russia due to phytosanitary concerns that we view as highly suspect and highly questionable. Now we'll have a mechanism in order to resolve that dispute through the WTO.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

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Mr. KIND. Something that is not available to us until we're able to move this legislation here today.

Now, as was pointed out earlier, Governor Romney indicated that Russia, in his view, is America's greatest geostrategic adversary in the 21st century.

I don't know if that's true or not, but I do know that when goods and products cross borders, armies don't. This gives us another tool of diplomatic engagement with Russia, economic engagement with Russia, as well as another piece to what we need to do to get our economy fully functioning and creating the good-paying jobs that we need right here in America at this time.

So I encourage my colleagues to support this. Hopefully, we will have a wide bipartisan vote, and I thank the leadership on this issue.

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