This morning the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and what this means for the United States. The National Association of Manufacturers has been urging Congress to grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to Russia.

A few manufacturers were among the witnesses testifying at the hearing today including Chairman and CEO of Deere and Company Samuel Allen and President and CEO of GE Russia/CIS Ronald Pollett.

The chairman of the NAM’s Russia Trade Relations Task Force Daniel Cruise, vice president for global public and government affairs of Aloca, Inc. submitted a statement for the record on the importance of granting PNTR status to Russia.

Here is a brief excerpt from the statement:

Russia offers an excellent opportunity for U.S. manufacturers, and the President’s Export Council has estimated that U.S. exports to the country could double over the next five years to $12 billion. This will create manufacturing jobs in a wide variety of industries and boost economic growth, if Congress establishes PNTR with Russia.

Russia was officially invited to join the WTO on December 16, 2011, and will formally accede to the WTO upon action by the Russian Duma to ratify the agreement. The NAM strongly supports PNTR with Russia because it will give manufacturers better access to the Russian market and commit Russia to an enforceable set of international standards. Manufacturers in the United States will benefit from tariff reductions, Russia’s commitment to join the Information Technology Agreement, non-tariff barrier reductions, enhanced intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, and loosened restrictions on services trade. Each of these additional protections will help American manufacturers sell more goods in Russia.

The NAM will continue to urge Congress to move swiftly to grant PNTR status to Russia. This is not a vote for Russia but a vote for manufacturers in the United States and jobs.

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