Washington, D.C., September 21, 2012 – Today the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) joined eight other business organizations in urging President Obama and congressional leaders to extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia. On August 22, Russia officially joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), but due to outdated legislation, every other WTO member—except the United States—is guaranteed lower tariffs and the ability to defend its rights in the Russian market.
“Russia PNTR legislation is needed to put manufacturers in the United States on an even playing field in one of the largest emerging markets in the world,” said NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey. “This is an opportunity for Congress to act on a bipartisan bill to help boost exports and create jobs. When Congress returns in November, it is vital that passage of Russia PNTR legislation be a key priority for the White House and Congress. Further delay is not an option as we will only fall further behind, causing manufacturers to miss out on new export opportunities and failing to provide them with critical WTO protections.”
Currently, 95 percent of the world’s consumers are outside U.S. borders. Russia is the 9th largest economy in the world, making it a key emerging market for manufactured goods exports. Without Russia PNTR legislation, manufacturers in the United States cannot take full advantage of Russia’s market-opening and transparency commitments that are part of its WTO membership. Additionally, manufacturers are missing out on key intellectual property rights protections and enforcement provisions in Russia.