Russia PNTR Legislation could help create more jobs in Arizona
Washington – Business Roundtable applauded the leadership of Senator John McCain for introducing bipartisan legislation, with three of his Senate colleagues, to provide permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia. When Russia joins the World Trade Organization (WTO) later this summer, exporters in Arizona and throughout the United States could increase trade with the world’s ninth largest economy. But Congress must first act – by approving Russia PNTR legislation – before Arizona and other states can enjoy the full benefits of Russia’s market-opening WTO commitments.
“This is the most significant trade opportunity this year to help support American jobs and grow the United States economy,” said Business Roundtable (BRT) President John Engler. “Congressional action on PNTR will benefit Arizona and its companies, farmers and workers. We thank Senator McCain for his leadership on this important issue.”
The stakes are high for Arizona. As reported in a recent BRT economic analysis, Arizona exported $24.4 million worth of goods to Russia in 2011, which directly supported an estimated 70 jobs. If Congress passes Russia PNTR, these numbers are expected to grow. If Congress fails to act on PNTR, these numbers will likely fall, as foreign competitors in Europe, Asia and elsewhere will be able to take full advantage of Russia’s WTO commitments, but Arizona and its companies will not.
Russia’s WTO membership means, among other things, that it must:
- Lower its tariffs
- Provide greater market transparency
- Protect intellectual property rights
- Abide by the WTO’s rules of international trade
Business Roundtable, an association of chief executives of leading U.S. companies, has launched a 50-day campaign to increase pressure on Congress to pass Russia PNTR by the August recess. Russia PNTR is BRT’s top trade priority for 2012.