Washington – Business Roundtable (BRT) today expressed disappointment that Congress does not plan to vote this week on legislation to provide permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia before adjourning for the election. BRT urged House and Senate leadership and the White House to work together to approve PNTR as soon as possible when Congress returns to Washington.
“American businesses are now at a disadvantage vis-à-vis our competitors worldwide because Congress and the White House haven’t yet put in place PNTR with the world’s 9th largest economy, Russia,” said Business Roundtable President John Engler. “Russia PNTR is one of the only opportunities still this year to increase U.S. exports, support American jobs and grow the economy, and Congress and the White House should take immediate action to approve PNTR when members return later this fall.”
Congress is expected to return to Washington in November, following the election, for a “lame duck” session.
“There is strong bipartisan support for PNTR, as was evidenced by unanimous and near-unanimous votes in the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee,” Engler said. “We urge House and Senate leadership to build on this momentum and schedule votes as soon as possible in November. The United States cannot afford further delay on this critical opportunity to help ensure that U.S. manufacturers, service providers, farmers and workers remain competitive in Russia’s growing market.”
Passage of Russia PNTR legislation is Business Roundtable’s top trade priority this year. To learn more, visit www.brt.org/Russia.