U.S. Representative Glenn 'GT' Thompson today voted to support H.R. 6156, the "Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012," legislation authorizing the President to grant both countries permanent normal trade relations (PNTR). H.R. 6156 passed the U.S. House with bipartisan support by a vote of 365-43.
"We must promote every opportunity for economic expansion and job growth, including finding new market opportunities for American businesses and U.S. products," said Rep. Thompson. "Passage of H.R. 6156 will ensure that the U.S. benefits from Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization, which offers significant trade opportunities for American companies."
Russia joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) on August 22, 2012, and Moldova -- a former Soviet republic -- gained accession in 2001. As a result, both countries are required to open up their markets and comply with the WTO's rules.
The United States cannot receive any of these benefits until Congress grants PNTR. Without granting normal trade relations, all WTO benefits for the United States will go to foreign competitors.
"If trade relations with Russia are not normalized, American companies will continue to be disadvantaged in Russian markets," Rep. Thompson added. "This authorization will ensure that U.S. workers and businesses, including our farming community, have an even playing field when competing for business in both countries."
H.R. 6156 also contains provisions to address concerns about Russia's compliance with its WTO obligations and address bilateral trade issues between the United States and Russia, particularly those dealing with food safety, intellectual property and human rights.