The House Ways & Means Committee by voice vote today backed a bill to grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia. The NAM sent a letter to the House Ways & Means Committee leadership on Wednesday to support swift action on PNTR.
Russia will officially join the WTO on August 22. The accession agreement, which was agreed to in December 2011 after 18 years of negotiations, includes several important commitments from Russia on a variety of issues. The agreement requires Russia to reduce tariffs on a range of manufactured products, open its services markets to U.S. firms, ensure greater respect for the rule of law, better protect intellectual property, significantly cut the maximum customs clearance fee, allow trade disputes to play out in the WTO’s dispute settlement system, and safeguard foreign investors.
Lauren Airey is director of trade facilitation policy, National Association of Manufacturers.