Washington, D.C. – The following is a statement by former Senator Charles Robb and former Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans, co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Russia Initiative, praising legislation passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, which graduates Russia from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, grants the country Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status and holds Russian officials accountable if they violate human rights. The legislative language passed by Congress echoes recommendations developed and promoted by BPC in its Russia report released earlier this year:
“This is a big win for American businesses by putting them on the same playing field with other global companies in one of the fastest growing markets in the world for U.S. goods and services. The legislation has the potential to spur U.S. job creation and growth, doubling American exports to Russia in five years.”
“We believe this legislation is a big step toward modernizing U.S.-Russia relations for the benefit of both countries. BPC praises House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) for introducing this important legislation.”
As BPC highlighted in its report, A Bull in Bear’s Clothing: Russia, WTO and Jackson-Vanik, failure to repeal the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and extend PNTR status would have given Russia legitimate grounds under WTO rules to discriminate against U.S. businesses, causing the United States to lose market share to companies from the European Union and East Asia.