FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 16, 2011
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson welcomed the recent decision by the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to approve the terms of Russia’s accession and to issue a formal invitation for Russia to join the trade body. In order to join the WTO, Russia has committed to lower tariffs on a wide range of goods, to open its services markets, and to bring its trade regime into conformity with WTO rules. Russia will become a member of the WTO once its parliament ratifies the accession package.
“The expansion of the WTO to include new members strengthens the global trading system and opens new and more secure markets to American exporters,” said Bryson. “Russia’s membership will give American companies greater and more predictable access to an important and growing market, which will spur new opportunities for U.S. exporters and create jobs for American workers.”
In 2010, the United States was the fourth-largest supplier of goods to the Russian market. With more than 140 million consumers, Russia remains one of the most promising markets for U.S. exporters.
For U.S. industry to get the full benefits of Russia’s WTO accession and have the same access to Russia’s market as other WTO members, it will be necessary for the United States to establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status with Russia. In order for this to happen, Congress will need to terminate the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to Russia.
“Establishing PNTR with Russia will expand exports and support American jobs, and keep our manufacturers and farmers on a level playing field with their foreign competitors in Russia’s market,” Bryson added. “The Obama administration looks forward to working with Congress to achieve this goal.”
For additional information about Russia’s WTO accession and the benefits to the United States, please click the links