Issue Date: October 1, 2012
Business Urges Action On Russia Trade Bill
A broad-based business coalition that includes some of the largest chemical and pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. is calling on Congress to lift Cold War-era trade sanctions and normalize trade relations with Russia. The Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade says the action is necessary so that U.S. businesses can reap the benefits of Russia’s recent accession to the World Trade Organization, including lower tariffs for American-made products. “We strongly urge the White House and Congress to work together to ensure passage of this legislation as quickly as possible after the November elections,” the coalition said in a Sept. 21 letter to congressional leaders and President Barack Obama. Coalition members include Dow Chemical, DuPont, Eli Lilly & Co., and Pfizer. Pending legislation (H.R. 6156) would grant Russia “permanent normal trade relations” by removing a 1974 trade provision called the Jackson-Vanik amendment. Action on the bill has been repeatedly delayed this year because of concern over Moscow’s record on human rights. “This is an opportunity for Congress to act on a bipartisan bill to help boost exports and create jobs,” says Linda Dempsey, vice president of international economic affairs for the National Association of Manufacturers.
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