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Statement by Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on Russia Joining the WTO

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today issued a statement on Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), which will help increase U.S. exports and thereby create thousands of American jobs. The membership means that Russia has committed to opening its goods and services markets, applying stronger protection for intellectual property rights, assuring consideration of private-sector input in the adoption of regulations that affect trade, and establishing limits on tariff levels, all providing greater certainty and predictability to U.S. businesses. These benefits will be available to U.S. exporters as soon as Congress authorizes the president to establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia. 

“I commend Russia for becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) today, as the country brings its over 140 million consumers and a $1.8-trillion economy into the global rules-based trading system,” said Acting Secretary Blank. “Now that Russia is a member of the WTO, Congress should act to terminate the application of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to Russia and authorize the establishment of permanent normal trade relations with Russia. These actions will give American businesses greater access to and protections within Russia’s growing economy, and help U.S. businesses, farmers, ranchers and workers compete on a level playing field with companies from other WTO-member countries. This will increase U.S. exports, strengthen our economy, and create thousands of American jobs. The Obama administration is committed to working with Congress to pass this legislation so that American businesses can enjoy the same benefits in Russia’s market that our foreign competitors now have.”