As Russia becomes a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), U.S. Rep. Billy Long issued the following statement on the need for the United States to grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia:
"It is critical that the United States take action to give Russia permanent normal trade status as quickly as possible so that American exporters can gain access to the Russian market through the World Trade Organization. This will allow our nation's businesses to compete for access to the Russian market on a level playing field. The Russian market offers an immense opportunity to boost exports, create jobs, and grow our economy at a time when many Americans need jobs."
In July, Long rallied his class in support of the effort to boost trade opportunities for American farmers and businesses by extending PNTR status to Russia. Long and 72 other members of his freshman class in the House sent a letter to President Obama encouraging the president to move forward with free and fair trade with Russia. Long and his colleagues support repealing a Cold War-era trade restriction so American businesses will not be at a disadvantage to international competitors with Russia joining the WTO. While the U.S. already trades with Russia, the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik provision would level the playing field for U.S. exports after Russia joins the WTO. The U.S. cannot deal with Russia under the WTO's favorable trade framework until Jackson-Vanik is repealed.