Tag: Russia PNTR

Toyota to Export Venza to Russia and the Ukraine from Kentucky

Automobile manufacturer Toyota has announced earlier today that the company will begin exporting the Venza model, which are assembled in the United States, to Russia and the Ukraine in 2013. This is positive news as manufacturers continue to work to find new export markets for products manufactured in the U.S.

The passage of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia late last year was a big step in enabling manufacturers like Toyota to export to the growing and large Russian market. This legislation helps put manufacturers in the U.S. on a level playing field to better compete and sell goods in Russia.

Toyota expects to export about 5,000 Venza vehicles to Russia and the Ukraine this year. The cars are manufactured at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant which employees approximately 6,600 employees.

Market opening agreements help manufacturers grow and create more jobs here in the U.S. Nearly 95 percent of the world’s consumer are outside of the U.S. We have to do more to make it easier for manufacturers in the U.S. to reach new markets which will allow them to prosper and flourish.

 

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Senate Passes Russia PNTR Legislation

Earlier this afternoon, the Senate passed a bill with overwhelming bipartisan support to establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia. The Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012 (H.R. 6156), which passed by a vote of 92-4, will now head to President Obama for signing.

The NAM, after several months of extensive outreach on Capitol Hill, was instrumental in convincing Congress to pass the legislation. Russia PNTR will provide a tremendous opportunity for U.S.-manufactured goods exports and ensure manufacturers in the United States operate on a level playing field with our global competitors. The NAM sent a Key Vote letter to senators yesterday, urging their support. The House passed the same bill on November 16.

On August 22, Russia officially joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) and made commitments on increased transparency, lower tariffs and binding dispute resolution. Russia is the ninth largest economy in the world, making it a key emerging market for U.S.-manufactured goods exports. Manufacturers have urged the Senate to pass Russia PNTR, which will grow U.S. exports and secure market access to help create jobs. Click here for more information on Russia PNTR or read testimonials from small and medium manufacturers on the importance of establishing PNTR with Russia.

Lauren Airey is director of trade facilitation policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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House Approves Russia PNTR Bill, NAM Urges Swift Action in Senate

Today the House overwhelmingly approved a bill to establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia by a vote of 365-43. The NAM issued a Key Vote letter supporting the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 6156) yesterday.

Russia officially joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in August and passage of PNTR legislation has languished, allowing other nations to take advantage of Russia’s WTO membership while the United States remained on the sidelines.

“Russia’s admission into the WTO was a positive step for global trade – and the recent House action on PNTR is yet another step toward ensuring market access for manufacturers in the United States,” said Alcoa, Inc. Vice President for Global Public and Government Affairs and NAM Russia Trade Relations Task Force Chairman Daniel Cruise. “On behalf of NAM’s Russia Trade Relations Task Force, I urge the Senate to quickly pass a bill for the President to sign so that manufacturers in the U.S. can compete on a level playing field in Russia.”

Manufacturers urge the Senate to take up PNTR legislation quickly. Without PNTR, manufacturers in the United States will continue to have a significant disadvantage in the growing Russian market. Russia imported nearly $300 billion in goods in 2011, yet the United States accounted for less than 5 percent of those imports. Clearly, there is room for growth.

Manufacturers of all sizes will benefit from the commitments Russia has made as a member of the WTO to reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers, protect intellectual property and adopt key commercial rules to level the playing field in the Russian market. More than 80 percent of the approximately 5,000 companies in the U.S. that currently export to Russia are small- or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and these SMEs account for nearly half of all U.S. exports to Russia. These companies exported $2.1 billion of goods to Russia – and those exports could reach $4.2 billion by 2014, according to some estimates.

With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the borders of the U.S. we must take full advantage of opportunities to open new markets to create jobs and grow our economy.

Lauren Airey is director of trade facilitation policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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July Trade Balance Mostly Unchanged

The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau reported that the U.S. trade deficit was $42.0 billion in July, or mostly unchanged from the $41.9 billion in June. With that said, both goods exports and goods imports fell for the month, essentially offsetting one another. Goods exports decreased from $132.8 billion to $130.8 billion; while, goods imports dropped from $190.2 billion to $188.1 billion. The service trade balance edged wider by $271 million mainly on increased imports.

Looking specifically at goods exports, there were increases in the foods, feeds, and beverages (up $1.8 billion) and non-automotive capital goods (up $113 million) industries. These were more than offset by decreases in industrial supplies and materials (down $2.4 billion), motor vehicles and parts (down $627 million), and consumer goods (down $430 million) sectors.

In contrast to these figures, the largest declines in goods imports came in the industrial supplies (down $2.1 billion) and non-automotive capital goods (down $553 million) sectors. There were higher imports observed in the automotive (up $496 million), consumer goods (up $432 million), and foods, feeds, and beverages (up $115 million) industries.

The petroleum trade balance has narrowed significantly this year, down from a $30 billion deficit in January to $20.9 billion in July. This decrease has stemmed almost entirely from a drop in imports. Part of this narrowing could be explained by lower costs, but slowing economic growth is also most likely a factor. Petroleum exports and imports both declined in July, down from $10.4 billion to $9.8 billion and from $32.9 billion to $30.8 billion, respectively. (continue reading…)

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House Ways & Means Committee Passes PNTR Bill

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.

You can learn more about benefits of PNTR at the NAM’s web page, with resources and information about PNTR with Russia. You can also take action and contact your Congressman or Senators here.

Lauren Airey is director of trade facilitation policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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Senate Finance Committee Approves PNTR with Russia

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.

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Senate Finance Committee Mark-Up for PNTR Bill

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee will convene a hearing to mark up a bill to grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia. Several amendments to the bill (S. 3285) have been filed with the Committee. The NAM sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee leadership to support swift action on PNTR. The hearing will convene at 9:30 a.m. in 215 Dirksen Senate Office, and a webcast will be available on the committee’s website.

Russia is slated to join the WTO after it approves the accession agreement, which was agreed to in December 2011 after 18 years of negotiations.

You can learn more about benefits of PNTR at the NAM’s web page, with resources and information about PNTR with Russia. You can also take action and contact your Congressman or Senators here.

Lauren Airey is director of trade facilitation policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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House Republican Freshman Show Support for Russia PNTR

Today 73 House Republican freshman sent a letter to President Obama affirming their support and commitment to work with the President on passing legislation to give Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR). Russia’s ascension to the WTO can provide manufacturers in the U.S. with a tremendous opportunity to increase exports to a large growing market.

Russia is expected to join the WTO in early August and if Congress waits to pass Russia PNTR legislation manufacturers will be left on the sidelines while our competitors are given full access to the Russian market.

Manufacturers continue to call on Congress to act on legislation as soon as possible. With our economy stalling and manufacturers facing an unfavorable business environment we need to continue to increase exports to support jobs. Congress can take an easy step with passing Russia PNTR legislation swiftly.

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Russia Moves Closer to Officially Joining WTO

On Tuesday, Russia’s parliament ratified the accession agreement that will allow Russia to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). The State Duma voted 238-208 to pass the bill. The ratification must now be approved by the upper house next week, and signed into law by President Putin before the July 23 deadline.

Then, after a final 30-day waiting period, Russia will become a WTO member. Russia was officially invited to join the WTO last December, after 18 years of negotiating the terms of its accession. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus released this statement about Russia’s action.

Russia will be a full WTO member in mid-August, and all WTO members will automatically benefit from the concessions and tariff reductions that Russia agreed to – except for the United States. To take full advantage of Russia’s WTO membership, Congress must to repeal a Cold War-era trade restriction intended to ensure the Soviet Union allowed religious emigration. The so-called Jackson-Vanik Amendment requires annual certification of Russia’s emigration policies. Without unconditional Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR), Russia will not be required to grant U.S. companies the same WTO benefits as competitors from other countries.

Manufacturers of all sizes will benefit greatly from PNTR with Russia. More than 80 percent of the approximately 5,000 U.S. companies that currently export to Russia are small or medium-sized firms. In fact, small and medium businesses account for nearly half of all U.S. exports to Russia. These businesses exported $2.1 billion of goods to Russia last year. Those exports could reach $4.2 billion by 2014, according to some estimates.

You can learn more about benefits of PNTR for manufacturers at the NAM’s new web page on Russia PNTR, with resources and information about PNTR with Russia. You can also take action and contact your Congressman or Senators here.

Lauren Airey is director of trade facilitation policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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Senate Finance Holds a Hearing Today on Russia PNTR

The Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing this morningto examine “Russia’s WTO Accession: Administration’s Views on the Implications for the United States.” The hearing panel includes U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.

In his testimony, Mr. Kirk emphasized that the Russia will become a member of the WTO no later than August 22. Further, he said

“Since we concluded the 18-years long multilateral negotiations on Russia’s WTO accession package last year, the President and members of the Administration have repeatedly urged Congress to terminate application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment and authorize the President to provide Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to Russia before it joins the WTO later this summer.” (continue reading…)

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