U.S. Rep. Billy Long issued the following statement after voting in support of the United States granting Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia, who became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on August 22, 2012:
"A thriving manufacturing sector is necessary for a strong and growing economy. We can help our nation's manufacturing sector by granting permanent normal trade relations with Russia. Granting permanent normal trade relations with Russia will help grow our nation's manufacturing sector and create jobs here at home."
In July, Longled his freshman class in an effort to boost trade opportunities for American farmers and businesses by extending PNTR status to Russia. Long and 72 other freshman 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 now that Russia has joined 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 with Russia.