Soda ash, oil field equipment, and beef are just a few of the Wyoming products that will be able to fairly compete in Russian markets, said U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., who voted in favor of H.R. 6156, the Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) bill today. The legislation would give America the opportunity to challenge unfair trade practices in the World Trade Organization (WTO) if Russia does not honor its commitments, according to Enzi. The Senate voted 92-4 in favor of the bill and it now heads to President Obama for his signature.
Russia was officially accepted into the WTO on August 22. In order for the United States and Russia to receive the benefits of Russia's WTO accession, including the ability to negotiate and challenge unfair trade remedies, Congress needed to amend the 1974 Trade Act by removing Cold War-era conditions imposed by the law. The PNTR bill also included language that would impose sanctions on individuals linked to human rights abuse.
"This bill means new markets for Wyoming products. It means fair trade," said Enzi. "The passage of this trade bill will not only help create jobs, it will help American businesses compete on a level playing field with our Russian counterparts."
"Establishing permanent normal trade relations with Russia and Moldova allows increased market access for industries across Wyoming," said Barrasso. "At the same time, this bill enhances our ability to safeguard our businesses from unfair trade practices in the global marketplace. This is a bill that directly supports U.S. jobs and exports and I look forward to the President signing it into law as soon as possible."