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Washington, D.C. — Following President Obama’s signature of the proclamation extending permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) to Russia and Moldova, the United States and Russia both filed letters with the World Trade Organization (WTO) withdrawing their notices of non-application and agreeing to have the WTO Agreement apply between them. The United States also filed a letter withdrawing its notice of non-application with regard to Moldova and agreeing to have the WTO Agreement apply between the United States and Moldova.
“With this action, U.S. businesses and workers can now enjoy the full benefits of Russia’s WTO Membership. Having the WTO Agreement apply between us and Russia gives U.S. businesses and workers greater and more predictable access to the growing Russian market and gives us the tools to hold Russia accountable to its WTO obligations,” said Ambassador Kirk. “Access to the Russian and Moldovan markets for U.S. exports will support American jobs here at home.”
In December 2011, when the WTO General Council approved the terms for Russia’s membership in the WTO, the United States and Russia each notified the WTO that the WTO Agreement would not apply between them when Russia became a WTO Member. The U.S. action was required because at that time the United States did not extend permanent normal trade relations treatment (PNTR) to Russia as required under WTO rules. The proclamation that was signed yesterday, following action by Congress authorizing this step, extends PNTR to Russia and thus the United States is able to apply the WTO Agreement to Russia.
Similarly, when Moldova became a WTO member in July 2001, the United States did not extend PNTR to Moldova. At that time, the United States also notified the WTO that the WTO Agreement would not apply between the United States and Moldova. Moldova did not submit a similar notification. Based on the extension of PNTR to Moldova in the President’s proclamation, the United States is now able to apply the WTO Agreement to Moldova.