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Public Statements

We Need PNTR Now

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MEEKS. Russia, with some of the world's most sophisticated consumers and a rapidly growing market, will join the World Trade Organization by summer's end. After 18 years of negotiating with the United States and the World Trade Organization, after improving their trade laws and reducing tariffs, yes, very shortly Russia will be a member of the World Trade Organization.

For the United States, this could mean improved market access for our exports of goods and services. It could mean protections if Russia violates international rules. It could mean a trade boost, an additional 50,000 jobs or more right here in the United States of America, and all of this, if the United States and this Congress lifts the Cold War relic, the Jackson-Vanik amendment, and authorizes permanent normal trade relations. We've waived Jackson-Vanik for over 20 years. We now need PNTR, and we need to do it now.

Our competitors will have access to that market. We will then fall behind them.

We can compete with anybody in the world. This is the greatest country in the world. Let's not lock ourselves out of the market in Russia. Let's not put ourselves behind our competitors. Here's an opportunity for us to come together.

You heard earlier this morning my friend and colleague, David Dreier, bringing folks together, talking about how we can do this together with the President of the United States, who has an export initiative, to create more jobs.

Here we can demonstrate to the American people that we're concerned about creating jobs, and that we're going to make sure that we take advantage of that opportunity by bringing PNTR for Russia immediately, getting involved, and trading with them to create jobs right here in the good old United States of America.

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