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Washington, D.C. – United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk commented today following action in the House Committee on Ways and Means to advance legislation authorizing the President to extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to Russia.
“We welcome today’s action in the House Committee on Ways and Means in taking the next step toward extending permanent normal trade relations to Russia. Russia is expected to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) next month, and extending permanent normal trade relations to Russia when it joins the WTO will ensure that our companies, workers, farmers, and ranchers are able to reap the full benefits of Russia’s WTO membership, including improved market access and the application of WTO rules to Russia. Extending PNTR to Russia will also ensure that we have new tools to enforce U.S. rights, including if necessary, WTO dispute resolution, if Russia does not fully implement its commitments," said Ambassador Kirk. "We urge Congress to act as soon as possible to protect America’s interests and make sure that Russia plays by the rules of the global trading system."
The bill that the Ways and Means Committee approved would also extend PNTR to Moldova, permitting the United States to apply the WTO Agreement to Moldova for the first time since it joined the WTO in 2001.