WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC) welcomed news today that the U.S. Senate is poised to consider legislation to remove Russia from the Jackson-Vanik amendment and extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR). The decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) to make Russia PNTR the next item of business on the Senate's legislative agenda means that U.S. manufacturers, service providers, ranchers and farmers will soon be able to fully access commercial opportunities equal to those of their foreign competitors and defend their rights in the Russian market.
"In support of much-needed U.S. economic growth and job creation, we strongly encourage the Senate to pass the current version of the Russia PNTR bill passed by the House of Representatives," said Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman of USRBC and Chairman and CEO of Alcoa.
The Russia PNTR measure the Senate will consider (H.R. 6156) passed the House by 365-43, garnering the votes of 138 Democrats and 227 Republicans – and the bill enjoys significant bipartisan support in the Senate as well. From the Senate bill's introduction by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Senators John Thune (R-SD), John Kerry (D-MA), and John McCain (R-AZ) to collaborative efforts between Finance Committee Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), followed by an unprecedented unanimous vote for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee, Russia PNTR has stood out as an issue where legislators can stand together for the U.S. economy and U.S. jobs."This legislation is about giving U.S. business a fair shake in Russia – it's about locking in rules and defending the rights of our companies in the 9 th largest market in the world. Russia has been a WTO member since August. It's time for the Senate to take this over the finish line," said Ed Verona, President of the USRBC, which leads the business community effort on Russia PNTR. "We urge the Senate to pass H.R. 6156 without amendment." The U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC) represents the interests of its 250 U.S. and Russian member companies, providing business development and government relations support in both Moscow and Washington. The USRBC contributes to the stability and development of a free market in Russia and supports Russia's integration into the global economy. It also serves as the Secretariat for the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade. Learn more at www.usrbc.org and www.usrussiatrade.org. SOURCE U.S.-Russia Business Council