The Senate Finance Committee has unanimously approved a bill to establish PNTR with Russia. Prior to the mark-up, Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced a Modified Chairman’s Mark to S. 3285. The bill was approved with one amendment, offered by Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), that creates a hotline for reporting corruption.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) offered an amendment that would delay the effective date for PNTR until the President certifies the Russian government has stopped shipping arms to Syria, and the amendment failed 16-8. Full details for the mark-up are online, along with statements from Senator Baucus and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
On the House side, Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released the following statement after the Senate Finance Committee vote:
“I welcome the news that the Finance Committee was able to pass bipartisan Russia PNTR legislation today and will carefully study the bill once legislative text is available. I intend to have a bill introduced in the next few days and look forward to moving this important jobs bill through the committee on a bipartisan basis as soon as possible. I continue to work with the White House to find a Democratic cosponsor.”
The NAM sent a letter to Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch yesterday in support of the PNTR legislation. With a short window before the August recess, the NAM will continue to advocate for swift action on PNTR with Russia.
Russia’s upper house of parliament also voted on Wednesday to ratify entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Russia will officially become a WTO member 30 days after Russian President Vladimir Putin signs the bill.
Lauren Airey is director of trade facilitation policy, National Association of Manufacturers.