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Public Statements

Russia PNTR

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MORAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to underscore the importance of immediate approval legislation to repeal Jackson-Vanik establish U.S. permanent normal trade relations with Russia.

There is demonstrated and widespread bipartisan support for Russian PNTR among our colleagues in the House, as well as in the Senate. And we cannot and should not wait to pass this legislation which will greatly benefit American business and their employees as they seek entré into the expanding Russian market.

We all share serious concerns with the ongoing human and political rights situation in the Russian Federation, but the maintenance Jackson-Vanik does nothing to address those concerns.

What it does do is deny the United States and our business the ability to fully take advantage of the benefits of Russian accession to the WTO both in terms of market access and trade enforcement.

PNTR will provide the United States with important benefits at no cost to us.

With PNTR, American companies will be able to take full advantage of lower Russian tariffs, stronger IP protections, and other market-opening concessions that the Russians agreed to as part of joining the World Trade Organization.

Last month's WTO accession promises to open that country large and growing consumer market to exporters around the world.

Unfortunately, because we have yet to establish PNTR with Russia, all the members of the WTO except the United States are now fully benefiting from increased access to the growing Russian market, which is the world's 9th largest economy.

Unlike the United States, other countries also have the ability to use the WTO's dispute settlement process to help ensure Russia honors its new WTO commitments. This is particularly important in a market such as Russia's which is relatively new to market capitalism and continues to present serious problems for foreign businesses.

Anders Aslund and Gary Hufbauer from the Peterson Institute for International Economics predict that U.S. exports to Russia should double within 5 years after accession to the WTO. Evidence from countries that joined the WTO between 2000 and 2010 suggest this statistic to be true, and maybe even a conservative estimation. If Exports to Russia grow at the same rate as they did for exports to Ukraine and the Baltics, exports could triple, approaching $30 billion. This would place Russia among America's large second tier-markets, such as Australia, India and France.

Every day we have not passed PNTR is a day where we put this opportunity in jeopardy by according a competitive advantage to non-American companies doing business in Russia.

We have the opportunity now to pass bipartisan legislation that advances American economic interests, which should not dither and continue to allow the partisan politics of election season to prevent us from grasping that opportunity.

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