Madam Speaker, a couple months ago I pick up the phone and I'm talking to one of your constituent companies in Naperville, Illinois. It's a company that you've represented well for the past 14 years. I was talking to the manufacturer, talking about Russian PNTR, and I posed a simple question: How much business are you doing now, and what kind of business would you be able to do in Russia if we normalize the trade relationships? Without batting an eye he said, currently, Congressman, we do $15 million worth of exports into Russia. If Congress changes this and we regularize this status, that number overnight would jump to $30 million.
Now, the State of Illinois currently is one of the largest States as it relates to exports to Russia--$70 million worth of business, Madam Speaker, coming out of our home State. So we've got a chance today to do something great, and to do something great is to allow worldwide American companies to get a sure footing in a growing marketplace that's only going to get bigger, and to do it in a thoughtful way.
This helps to meet President Obama's goal of doubling exports in 5 years--this is inextricably linked to that goal--and this is an opportunity for us to create jobs where we want to create them, that is, here at home, exporting into markets abroad.