Statement by the U.S.-Russia Business Council on USRBC Meeting with USTR Kirk and on Russia PNTR
WASHINGTON, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC) today welcomed comments by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk regarding the Obama Administration's commitment to having PNTR in place as soon as possible. Ed Verona, President of the U.S.-Russia Business Council, thanked Ambassador Kirk for the Administration's leadership in securing a strong deal on Russia's accession and urged all parties to redouble their efforts to keep U.S. business competitive in Russia.
"With Russia now confirmed to enter the World Trade Organization on August 22, prompt action on Russia PNTR by the U.S. Congress is critical to keeping the world's 9th largest market open for U.S. business," said Mr. Verona. "The liberalization that will begin to occur when Russia joins the WTO next month will present significant commercial opportunities for value-added goods and services that Russia's growth and modernization demand. We must make full use of the critical days left before the August recess to continue to push for the enactment of PNTR so that U.S. business is not on the sidelines when our competitors begin to snap up the new deals on the table as a result of Russia's accession."
"The 24-0 vote in the Senate Finance Committee and strong bipartisan support for PNTR in the House Ways & Means Committee have provided great momentum to our effort. We urge Congress to pass PNTR by the August recess," he said.
The U.S.-Russia Business Council, as Secretariat for the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade (www.usrussiatrade.org), has led hundreds of meetings and briefings on Capitol Hill to educate Members of Congress and their staffs about the importance of PNTR to U.S. business. USRBC has produced state-by-state information on U.S. trade with Russia and sector-specific information detailing the opportunities PNTR presents for U.S. business in eighteen diverse industry sectors, all available on the Coalition's website. USRBC also has spearheaded weekly messages on the benefits of Russia PNTR and has organized letters that have galvanized the debate on PNTR, including a letter signed by more than 170 entities in support of PNTR. As a result of the Coalition's concerted outreach to House Republican Freshmen, a record 73 freshmen put aside partisan differences and foreign policy concerns and sent a letter to President Obama underlining their willingness to work together swiftly to enact PNTR to benefit U.S. economic growth and employment.
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